Saturday, June 8, 2013

Let Parents Decide on a Curriculum? Vouchers turn "Public" Education into "Parent" Education. Who Needs Professional Educators?

Public Parent Education is the new norm. The uncomfortable reality is this; critics of the voucher movement cannot just come right out and say, "what do parents know about education?" We've been circling around that obvious question for years, because of the fragile ego's of parents who are sincerely concerned about their kids. 

As a parent of two boys, 11 and 14 year old, I'm seeing the process close-up by getting deeply involved in their class work and their teachers interactions. I'm not only impressed by their responses, but I'm also realizing teaching techniques and curriculum have dramatically changed from my days at school. And even then, I was a kid, what did I know about the process. Being away from school ten, twenty, or thirty years is a long time ago, and reason enough to call into question "parents know what's best."

Parents Know What's Best? Really?: A theme I've been harping on here, and may just be wildly offensive to some, is that parents don't know squat about education, and shouldn't be in charge of educating our kids...my kids especially. It's like saying parents know what's best about treating childhood illnesses, or developing  their own building safety codes. That's why we rely on "professionals," who specialize in specific areas that are continually being researched, like education. 

Voucher P.T. Barnum's want you to equate knowing your child's weaknesses and strengths in certain subjects to a degree in education and child psychology. Do we really want parents to decide curriculum?  Do we really want to completely discount the years of research? If you're honest...no.

I think that's why so many parents around the state, including conservatives, don't want to lose their top schools to profit driven private schools that spew "parents know what's best" drivel.  

The Con Man Cometh: Think I'm just making this stuff up? Check out what School Choice Wisconsin's Jim Bender is saying below. From WKOW and WPT's Here and Now: 
"If parents are given that ability to control what's going on in the education of their children, you take it away from the status qua, and there are people who don't want see that POWER taken away from the status qua." 


For conservatives, it all comes down to POWER and profits, not quality, data or research. It's pure projection. They want power without the responsibility of governing.

Parents will be in control alright, to pick schools based on advertising brochures, TV commercials, door fliers and junk mail. And voucher con artists will continue to appeal to a parents deepest insecurities about being a good mom or dad.  

Anyone else feel a little violated yet? If Jim Bender's final statement didn't send up any red flags or make you feel a little manipulated, then maybe you're the one who needs to go back to school:
"As the education establishment often does, they omit what parents want in the equation, and they're looking for other standards by which they can apply what THEY want to see happen, which is to retain control and retain power over education. We think that the parents should have that option. They just seem to conveniently forget, what do parents want to see happen in the state? And I think we need to have a conversation about what parents want in the state as opposed to what the "education establishment" want in the state."
You mean...education professionals? Yeah, what do they know?

Watch out for Walker's line item veto to remove the caps written into the budget bill that will send unlimited amounts of taxpayer money into the voucher program. 

2 comments:

JUDI said...

The there's this: Vouchers should be promoted by local "grass roots" entities and could not be "viewed as only a conservative idea." DeVos added, "This has got to be the battle. It will not be as visible."

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/5/3/12515/58655

AnnieJo said...

I think that what Walker does about the voucher enrollment caps and other restrictions will be a big "tell" as to whether or not he's going to run for governor next term -- or bow out to focus on his presidential ambitions.

If he leaves the caps in, he'll run for governor again.

If he line-items them out, he's focused on the presidency and will ditch Wisconsin in 2014.

You heard it here first! ;-)