A New Year, a new blogger
For the last year few years I’ve had the pleasure of working with parents from ACTION United (the organization formerly known as ACORN) on issues pertaining to our neighborhood schools. In 2011 I am joining the Notebook blog to share parent voices and the success and challenges of citywide parent activist groups. As we start the spring semester, here are two interesting stories.
Supports and speaker for parents
So maybe parents besieged by any number of issues - from money and work, to lack of it - could use a pep talk of sorts. How about listening to Les Brown? I was surprised to read in the Daily News that this Saturday, January 9 the District’s Office of Parent, Family, Community Engagement and Faith-Based Partnerships has paid for Brown to address Philly parents.
In the early 2000s ACTION United members pressed hard for the District to expand its parent office and it’s been a relief to see that first under Paul Vallas and now Arlene Ackerman that the administration will take money out of their budgets and fund sorely needed initiatives. It’s one such program, Parent University, that’s sponsoring the Brown lecture.
The event “A New Year, a New You!” is free and will be held at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 W. Lehigh Avene on Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Come early for the food - a complimentary breakfast will be served across the street at Dobbins High School, 2150 W. Lehigh Avenue. RSVP online or call 215-200-4180.
Blaming teachers often shifts to blaming parents and I’ve been intrigued at the issue. Here in Philadelphia I’ve sat in on ACTION United meetings where often grandparents stand up and point fingers at the 20- and 30-somethings railing about irresponsible parenting and their inability to discipline and guide their children.
D. William Browning, Legislative Director for ACTION United explains:
“The older generation doesn’t realize it’s really misplaced blame. True parents are the first teachers. But they are not homeschooling, they are providing a home and foundation. It’s the school’s job to instruct, teach, and evaluate. Schools have to mentor and train new teachers to have top classroom management skills and deal with children of all abilities and have a fair and open disciplinary process that helps kids understand what’s expected of them.”
A December Philadelphia Inquirer editorial stated:
“The Associated Press-Stanford University poll on education that 68% of adults believed parents deserve heavy blame for what’s wrong with the US education system - more than teachers, school administrators, the government or teachers unions”
So are the 20/30 somethings getting a raw deal? As their child's first teacher and Chief Disciplinarian at home - - are today's parents meeting standards of generations past -- or putting a generation of obnoxious kids in front of teachers refusing to listen or learn?
Let me know what you think (-: