Saturday, February 25

Parents Involvement Missing from No Child Left Behind

“No Child Left Behind” is nothing new. It was signed into law in 2001 with both Republican and Democrat support. Since then there has been a steady stream of criticism from Schools. States, parents and even the Democrats that once supported it. I really haven’t given the act any thought until recently, when I made a revelation about why the No Child Left Behind Act is not working as well as it should. Take the following:

Inadequate Funding. For some reason the country thinks that the Federal Government funds schools. They provide some money, but schools are funded by local and state taxes. Remember property taxes? In many states, a part of the property tax is the school tax. So the money to fund the schools should be coming from local and state taxes. One way that people are shifting blame is by claiming that the Federal Government is mandating standards, but they are not providing enough money to meet the new standards. What a load of bull. These are your children. You local community is in complete control of how much money is available to fund your schools:

Education is primarily a State and local responsibility in the United States. It is States and communities, as well as public and private organizations of all kinds, that establish schools and colleges, develop curricula, and determine requirements for enrollment and graduation. The structure of education finance in America reflects this predominant State and local role. Of an estimated $909 billion being spent nationwide on education at all levels for school year 2004-2005, about 90 percent comes from State, local, and private sources.

That means the Federal contribution to national education expenditures is about 10 percent. This 10 percent includes educational expenditures not only from the Department of Education (ED) but also from other Federal agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services' Head Start program and the Department of Agriculture's School Lunch program. Subtract these other dollars, and ED is left with less than 8 percent of total education spending. ED's $71.5 billion appropriation, by the way, is about 2.9 percent of the Federal Government's nearly $2.5 trillion budget in fiscal year 2005.

As you can see, the “lack of Federal Funding” excuse is bogus. Anyone in education who tells you this is attempting to take advantage of you not knowing how the system works. Now you know.

Inadequate Parental Support. Where are the parents in all of this? When I was growing up, My mom was fully involved in helping me with my homework, especially when I was in kindergarten, first and second grade. Parental support at this time is essential as children need to learn how to do homework. They do not learn how to do homework at school. That is learned at home!

I have no evidence that parents are not helping their children with their homework. But I can see a change between the people I went to school with and those who have gone through the school system after me. My mom stayed home and raised us. I can’t see how a working mom can dedicate that amount of time to work and help with her child’s homework. If the parents have more than one child of if the child has a “single mom,” the problem of finding time and energy to help your child is huge.

People today are not considerate to others. They drive like maniacs on the road. They do not follow the law. They throw trash wherever as soon as they create it. They are fiscally irresponsible. They do not make rational decisions. They are never accountable for their own actions. This behavior is not something that is learnt in school. This type of behavior is learned at home, mostly by observing how their own parents behave and even how their parent’s discipline them. Want your child to go off and “find himself”? They might find out that they like illegal drugs. Or they might find out that they are alcoholics. They even might find themselves in jail just like the American Taliban. Many will simply find that they have inadequate math and reasoning skills.

How you bring up your child is your business. Just don’t expect the Government and the schools to do the job alone. You only have one chance to do it right with each child. Your life might not be so hot, but it is not an excuse to handicap your child. So please, if you can’t teach them how to count, at least express to them how important it is to learn as much as possible in school. At the very least, make sure your kids are going to school. I have run into enough job applicants that could have used this assistance from their parents. Since it’s not my job to teach them basic skills, I gave six of them the boot, which technically counts as a valuable learning lesson in it’s own right.

The Federal Role in Education - US Department of Education

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