Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another awesome letter found online regarding the education reform...

*This is not MY letter* It was found online.

There is a boy in my daughter's class, CamRan, who is taking 2nd grade for the second time.  He knows me because I join my daughter for lunch every few weeks and I make a point to talk to him.  I do this because at the beginning of the school year the two of them had an argument and I found out that he fights with other students quite a lot.  So I figured a few kind words from me wouldn't hurt.  He really likes to talk to me and asks me all kinds of questions about our lives, do I help Ellie with her homework, does she get spanked if she's bad, does she get a time out sometimes...

After studying the Chinese culture for many weeks, the children invited their families to visit the classroom where they shared their work with us.  I used vacation time to attend.  I wasn't going to miss it, it was the first thing the parents had been invited to all year.  As soon as I came in, CamRan saw me and his face lit up.  I went across the room to where he was with another classmate and put my hand on his shoulder and asked how he was.  He didn't answer.  Instead he said, "I wish my momma had come today."  I answered, "Yeah, sometimes it's really hard to get out of work even when you really want the time off."  CamRan replied, "No, she's not at work, she's at home on the couch."  I didn't know what to say.  I just squeezed his shoulder.

Monday the kids have a special project due.  I called CamRan's mom on Thursday and invited him to our home to work on it with my daughter on Saturday.  She didn't even know what I was talking about.  She hadn't read his homework packet or the three pages of instruction that were both sent home on Monday.  This was THURSDAY night and she was clueless!  She agreed to bring him on Saturday to work on the project, have lunch and play a little while.  She said she would call me the next day to finalize plans.  I never heard from her again.

Why am I telling you this?  Because she is the reason CamRan didn't pass the 2nd grade the first time.  She's the reason CamRan falls asleep in school all the time.  She's the reason he doesn't do his homework.  And she's the reason he is going to fail his ISTEP tests next year.  To me, this kind of parenting is appalling. I can't imagine not giving this boy the attention he deserves.  His life would be so much different if he had a mother who cared.  But he doesn't.  So let me ask you, why does it become his teacher's responsibility to make up for this mother's lack of caring, attention and support?  How can we judge this teacher's performance based on CamRan's performance at school?  The answer: WE CAN'T!  You cannot judge a teacher based on ISTEP scores or poor performing students who aren't awake or participating.

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