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Department of Education wants parents of school children actively involved

Posted Friday, October 15, 2010, at 11:41 AM

The Indiana Department of Education is asking Hoosier parents to get more involved in the education of their children.

This week the IDOE launched a new website -- www.doe.in.gov/parentpledge -- where parents can read and sign an online pledge.

Indiana's "Parent Pledge" acknowledges parents, grandparents and other caretakers who are already contributing to student successes while encouraging others to get involved with their children's academic achievement.

Specifically, the pledge states:

* My child will read with an adult or be encouraged to read independently each day.

* My child will complete all homework assignments given by school instructors and will be encouraged to ask for help when it is needed.

* My child will arrive at school on time, well rested and prepared for a full day of instruction and learning.

* My child will treat teachers and fellow classmates with respect and compassion. I will make positive behavior the expectation in my household.

* My child will graduate from high school and will understand the importance of a strong education in determining future success.

* I will encourage my child to dream big and always give 100 percent effort.

* I will treat my child's teachers as a valuable resource and work with them to support academic improvement and classroom behavior expectations.

* I will monitor my child's academic growth and stay as involved as possible in my child's education. I will let the teacher know right away if I notice any problems.

This a great idea and brings me back to the now considered "old school" thinking that was employed in my growing-up years in a parochial school in Perry County.

In those days there was a definite close bond between what happened at home and what happened in the classroom.

Nearly all of the parents went to the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings to keep abreast about classroom progress and school activities.

There were frequent one-on-one experiences between teachers and parents either by telephone or face-to-face chats.

There was an unspoken "understanding" that if any kind of trouble or problems with discipline or academic performance in the classroom arose at school, the consequences when one arrived back home would be even more stringent and severe.

You knew for a fact that if you got a whipping at school -- which was acceptable in those days -- you were going to go to the woodshed, so to speak, when you got home that night.

Granted, times have changed and teaching techniques have changed, but parenting skills remain constant.

I heard a comment aired by an Greene County school administrator along those lines this week during a school board meeting that kind of got my attention and made me really question the validity of that statement.

"We can't teach the same way we taught in the '50s," the administrator said.

Do you agree with that statement?

What has changed -- the kids, the parents or the teachers?

The parents still need to be involved and know what their children are doing at school. They need to encourage and guide their children with homework assignments to foster a better learning environment.

The parent pledge emphasizes principles like reading every day, completing homework, attending school and cooperating with educators -- all very good things.

Parents can sign the pledge online at www.doe.in.gov/parentpledge or at one of the more than 80 participating schools.

I guess I was a little disappointed when I looked at the list and found none of the five Greene County school districts, or neighboring schools in Dugger listed as participants.

I hope it is because they haven't heard about the pledge project yet.

Hoosiers who sign the pledge electronically will receive online resources from IDOE, including helpful learning tips and access to academic experts.

To find a list of participating schools, visit www.doe.in.gov/news/documents/PledgeScho....

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages...


Comments
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notgreenenative~~

I never said anything against parents...actually, by stating they approach me outside of school I acknowledge that there are parents who care about their children's education. I KNOW they exist. As for the "endangered list" of teachers~~many teachers are leaving the profession due to being "riffed" or to better support their families. I, for one, choose to work two jobs rather than taking a higher paying single job outside of education. Unfortunately, this causes me to sacrifice time for family and time for myself. Between my two jobs, I have had less than seven days off since April. Parents can show support to those "endangered list" teachers by showing up and supporting the teachers at school board meetings rather than making statements in the local blogs that infer "all teachers" in a negative fashion. "What a joke! THE teachers won't even have a parent teacher night if they don't get paid extra." I realize you later corrected your statement saying "I never grouped ALL teachers in any category"; however, choosing "THE teachers" rather than saying "SOME teachers" infers all teachers. (By the way, I don't have the time to go to the PTO meetings because I am the ONLY income in my household and cannot afford to give up time off from my second job. If I could support my children on my teaching salary alone, I would gladly get involved in the PTO as well.)

-- Posted by lakermom on Tue, Oct 19, 2010, at 9:07 PM

I agree with Hobbs. Bring education back to the local level. Let the teachers run the schools again, not the administrators. And for Nick: sorry.

-- Posted by RDK on Tue, Oct 19, 2010, at 6:06 PM

Commenter after commenter on this site complains about the FEDERAL government playing such a large and unwelcome role in their respective lives. Mr. Schneider then writes an article about something that the INDIANA Department of Education does and everybody immediately attacks the federal government again. I think people just like any opportunity to complain. And by the way the INDIANA CONSTITUTION does guarantee the right to education for EVERYONE.

-- Posted by onetime on Tue, Oct 19, 2010, at 10:08 AM

notgreennative~~

Not ALL teachers require extra pay for parent teacher conferences. I have met with parents on MY time on several occassions. Rare are the times that I can go shopping without having at least one or two impromptu conferences. My shopping trips that should take a few minutes, take several. I know several teachers do this as well. WE DO EXIST! We might be outnumbered, but we are on the "endangered" list~~so to speak. I am NOT complaining about doing this; however, it upsets me that you have such a negative opinion on teachers that you lump us all in one category.

-- Posted by lakermom on Tue, Oct 19, 2010, at 12:15 AM
Nick Schneider
It amazes me how this discussion evolved from something positive that is being done by the Indiana Department of Education to bashing comments about the U.S. Department of Education, which is not addressed in the blog at all.

notgreenenative

I agree with you now, to quote an above post:

We have done nothing but spend more money on education and it has only gotten worse. We should get rid of the Department of Education. I think your logic is spot on! We also should get rid of all police since the same goes for crime. We should also get rid of all highway workers, teachers, television broadcasts and everything else that has cost more and gotten worse. Obviously you have stumbled on to the solution of how to make something better, get rid of it completely.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 10:45 PM

notgreenenative,

Why aren't you teaching? You seem to have all the answers.

Oh, those schools...always standing in the way of education.

-- Posted by THE END on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 8:51 PM

Right by saying that mentally challenged children are what make up the radical left wing voting base .. I got that part...you're saying they are all acting mentally retarded.

You're still insulting the children.

-- Posted by switzie on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 6:38 PM

I was wrong about the Constitution statement which I admitted to. Anyone with any type of educational background would know the other. Look it up. As far as the stats, you brought those up in an earlier post. I didn't say our stats "stink". I really don't care if we are at the top in education or not. We are just blessed that all our children have the opportunity to an education, not just the elite. You never know when a child will overcome all the obstacles he/she faces, whether it is a disability, poverty, abuse, hunger, homelessness, lack of parenting to name a few, to become a wonderful, productive member of society. It is why I am proud to say that America educates ALL our children. No one can fix education until we all stop playing the blame game and start working together. I do like the pledge. Every citizen should take the pledge, not just the parents. It can apply to us all. I haven't checked it out yet on the IDOE, but I am interested to see if any of the schools are now listed as a participant which is the topic of this article. Well done, Nick!

-- Posted by alwaysinterested on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 5:59 PM

dhobbs, what exactly do you mean by "how will the left keep their voting base populated"??

Are you insulting "mentally challenged children" now in this mud sling you have engaged in?

-- Posted by switzie on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 4:44 PM

I stand corrected. It wasn't The Constitution. The requirements for free appropriate public education for students with disabilities are under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Still, other countries at the top of the education race do not educate their mentally challenged children. I guess I was thinking of all the work Thomas Jefferson did on behalf of public education. He wrote several Bills on the issue that passed and helped to make public education accessible to all children. My point was that in America we educate ALL children and ALL these children are used in the statistics when the US is compared to other countries who only educate their elite.

-- Posted by alwaysinterested on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 3:56 PM

Since we are getting rid of government jobs, let's eliminate the IRS. Using your sarcastic logic, since taxes are so high, the closing of the IRS falls right into place.

-- Posted by cow rancher on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 3:24 PM

dhobbs is exactly correct. When have done nothing but spend more money on education and it has only gotten worse. We should get rid of the Department of Education. I think his logic is spot on! We also should get rid of all police since the same goes for crime. We should also get rid of all highway workers, teachers, television broadcasts and everything else that has cost more and gotten worse. Obviously he has stumbled on to the solution of how to make something better, get rid of it completely.

-- Posted by chevygleen on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 2:35 PM

So let's use your logic. Our roads have gotten worse over time and we have spent more money on them, let's get rid of all highway departments.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 1:03 PM

notice how you change the subject rather than address the topic. I will fix the error so you can address the topic.

So let's use your logic. Our roads have gotten worse over time and we have spent more money on them, let's get rid of all highway departments.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 12:59 PM

So lets use your logic. Our roads have gotten worse over time and we have spent more money on them, lets get rid of all highway departments.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 12:54 PM

1. How do the roads look these days? Kind of like our education results, huh?

Can you imagine what the roads would look like if we eliminated our highway departments?

2.Last I checked, 1979 was 31 years ago, not ten.

Oh so you want to look back and pick the exact high and exact low. Pull up a long term housing price chart, don't cherry pick short term numbers.

3.1.2 TRILLION dollars, and you're satisfied? Seriously? Deep down, in your heart of hearts, you actually feel like every dollar of the 1.2 TRILLION is being spent wisely and well?

Are you saying that you do not believe the USA is the greatest country in the world?

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 12:44 PM

In America, our constitution states that ALL children are entitled to a free, appropriate, public education. ALL our children are required to enroll in some form of formal education beginning at the age of seven and ending at the age of 16 (The age 16 may have changed) by law. If a child has a special need, the federal government says that services HAVE TO BE provided for these students until the age 21. Yes, these students have to take some sort of state assessment regardless of their disability. Most other countries do not provide an education to older (jr high and high school) students unless they can afford to pay for the education. Some countries do not even educate females. I find it very difficult to compare apples to oranges as the education systems in each country is different. In America, we educate ALL.

-- Posted by alwaysinterested on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 12:39 PM

1. As far as financial aid, why is that the job of the federal government anyway?

I guess the same reason it is the job of the Gov to build roads, children our the road to the future.

2.automatically accept the premise that every aspect of you life must be controlled by the federal government?

You now are making stuff up, that was never said or even hinted at.

3.Did they make homeownership better? Is your house worth more now than 10 years ago

Yes, to answer your question, the house I live in was bought in 1979 for 11,000$ and has been remodeled once for 5,000$ It is now worth 50-60,000$

4 Do you really think you are getting your 1.2 trillion dollars worth from the federal government?

Yes and so do you or you would move.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 12:27 PM

I cannot accept the idea of opting out of high school for a trade. How many people have changed their minds on what type of work they want to do?

Everyone should have a high school education at a minimum! They should also have all the Math and English that can be provided. After being an electrician (just an example) for a couple of years, they may decide they want to go to college to be an engineer. Our students need to be prepared. If they want to be an electrician, they need to be able to get into the union. Have you checked on the requirements to be in the electrician's union? High School Diploma!!!

-- Posted by concerned Bloomfield citizen on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 11:46 AM

I guess simple common sense. The department of education is in charge of financial aid. Without it many would not have attended college. Common sense would tell you that not all great minds that will change the world have money. Albert Einstein received financial aid. The Department of education collects educational data about learning trends. Common sense tells us that without knowing where we are going it is difficult to get there. So You tell my why would our system be better off without financial aid and a body collecting data about what it is or isn't doing?

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 11:37 AM

It is not a failed program without it our education system would be worse.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 9:31 AM

"It's time for us to demand personal accountability...across the board."

Okay I demand it, boy I'm glad that's taken care of, problem solved.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Sun, Oct 17, 2010, at 10:01 PM

How sad and embarrasing that some think it is a good idea that the government needs to tell parents to be parents.

This country is falling so fast I can not even compare secular education now with the way it was just forty years ago.

What this generation tolerates, then next generation will embrace. This is so true on many instances concerning Americans. It's time for us to demand personal accountability...across the board.

-- Posted by cow rancher on Sun, Oct 17, 2010, at 8:51 PM

Your example does not include the alternative. Let me ask you a question. Lets assume that we stop the department completely, do you think the number would go up? I spent more money on gasoline this year and drove less miles, I should stop buying gas?

Of course we spend more money, name one think that is cheaper than it used to be.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Sun, Oct 17, 2010, at 7:58 PM

And to think the Tea Party wants to do away with the Department of Education.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Sun, Oct 17, 2010, at 7:54 AM

Great ideas....Now, ask yourself these questions?

"What if parents didn't do these things?"

-Didn't encourage their kids to read.

-Didn't expect them to do or provide an environment to do their homework

-Didn't bring their child to school (or late)

-Didn't require the child to get rest

-Didn't treat teachers and other students with respect

-Didn't expect (or really care) if their child graduated from HS

-Didn't expect their child to give 100% effort

-Didn't expect the child to respect their teachers or other school officials.

Do you think they could become successful students regardless of the teachers' efforts?

Until all families value education, there will be a certain percentage that cannot be successful...because they have failed before they even reach the school house door.

-- Posted by THE END on Fri, Oct 15, 2010, at 11:19 PM


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