Las Vegas Sun

July 7, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Education must start with parents

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As a recently retired teacher, I applaud David Brooks’ column in Monday’s Sun: “Filling the void when families fail.”

For years, teachers have received unfair criticism that they are to blame for the current plight of education.

Education begins in the home. When young children show up to class with no pre-reading background (as Brooks points out) and no pre-learning skills whatsoever, they immediately fall behind their peers, and many never catch up.

Too many parents today have little interest in their child’s education or are simply too preoccupied with their jobs to spend time with the child at home.

The vast majority of teachers I have worked with in more than 33 years in the Clark County School District are highly qualified, dedicated individuals who routinely work overtime in addition to spending their own money on classroom materials.

It’s time for parents to put in some effort, too.

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  1. Yet teachers and the teacher union say the issues are class size and teacher pay. There are lots of theories I suppose.

    Also, what is the current plight of education Robert?

  2. Parents are the missing ingredients for excellence in students' performance. Show me failing left behind children, and I'll show you absent, uninvolved, uncaring, and/or lazy parents. When parents/guardians are actively involved in their childrens' academic grades and school performance, their children meet and beat their expectations.


  3. Too many parents seem to view public schools as prepaid day care fpr their kids. They hold schools responsible for the actions of their children when they're at school and even when they ditch attending classes.

    The purpose of public schools is to educate their children, not to raise them.

  4. I agree with FUTURE.. Until such time we can legislate parenting, no one can control how to parent a child. It infringes on personal freedom and implementing such law will be horrendous.

    Just as Future say, we must look at things that we have control over: Leadership, curriculum, and Human Resource Management.

    Leadership both in education and in government leaves a lot to be desired. Sadly, the selection of school and government leaders are based more on whom they know and what they can afford rather than what they know or what they truly stand for. This is what it has been since the beginning of time. In too few shining moments, someone rises only to be shot down by the evils in this world.

    Curriculum: Too much focus on academics without the equal focus on affective skills: Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience - qualities needed to deal with the world around us. For what does it matter if a man has thousands of diplomas and accolades for excellence in academics, when he does not have the skills to deal with his fellowmen with respect, compassion, and tenacity.

    The current curriculum follows a framework conceptualized on outdated ideas. The world has considerably changed. We must adapt what we teach our children, how we teach them, and when to teach them to the ever changing demands of the modern world and the world in the future. We must look at the curriculum we use in training teachers. We must graduate teachers who will be ready to meet the challenging demands of the current and future breed of children of our communities and the world. Technology ushered the death of distance and children of the world are no longer isolated from each other. They can be great instruments in solving global problems and discord.

    Human Resource Management: Recruitment, Selection, and Placement. Like leadership, we forget the greatest assest in any undertaking: Human resource. We have dismissed them as peons to be pushed and knocked down as we make our moves in the game of chess we call life. We hire people based on their malleability-in the ease of them being obedient, in believing as we do, and of experiences in knowing how to preserve the status quo. We don`t dare hire those who are smarter than we are, who have different ideas from ours, and who have not the experiences we sought.

    We must seriously determine what our children need then carefully recruit, select, and place teachers, administrators, and staff based solely on requirements and qualifications. This cannot be done haphazardly. Our future, in fact, the very survival of our society and the world, depends on today`s children. Those who are teaching them MUST realize the gravity of their responsibilities.

    The future of this planet is not a game. We do not own it. We are its stewards simply passing through.

    How can we be so careless?

  5. Education starts with a living wage !

  6. I agree with Truthiness.

    That is where our leaders fail. Millions are spent on areas not directly connected to the building blocks that are the foundation of student success.

    We institute reforms that are palliative, instead of preventive.

    We spend millions helping candidates win, who after the election, serve only the highest bidder.

    We spend millions on too many chiefs who do nothing but formulate more rules and regulations then carry a 'bigger stick' to make sure the peons toe the line.

    We spend millions on buying unecessary materials, curriculum, equipment, fancy furniture and buildings when students simply need to learn the basics.

    Why are these people in power?

  7. "We should move away from the stereotype of lazy parents. There are countless reasons for a lack of parental involvement. Language barriers, logistics, child-care, divorce and work are obstacles for many "parents" (do we mean "mothers"?) who may lack education themselves." Truthiness

    Excuses...excuses...excuses. If parents don't care, why should their children?

    Then, read the story/background of the mother of Dr. Ben Carson and let me know if you still believe this statement. BTW, he is the head of Neurolgical Brain Surgery at Johns Hopkins and recently spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. He is due to retire after a long and prestigious career in medicine which he attributes in large part to his mother, who was illiterate but worked several jobs so he and his siblings could get a college education. She never collected welfare because she told her son Ben that those that did never got off.


  8. "I agree with Truthiness." Nancy Agustin

    That would make you wrong too!