The thrust of a recent article at “The 74” argues that parents have an erroneous view of how well their children are doing in school:
“Parents rely more on their child’s report card (86 percent) than on annual state test scores (55 percent) to understand whether their child is on grade level. Two-thirds believe report cards provide a more accurate picture of achievement than standardized tests. “The amount of weight that parents place on report cards, they truly see it as gospel,” said Elizabeth Rorick, deputy executive director of communications and government affairs at the National PTA. “We need to push our parents to look at the overall performance. It’s not just what’s happening in the classroom. It’s important they review their annual state test results as well.” “
The bottom line for the article is that parents need to be more involved in their children’s school and in understanding what it is that their children are learning or not learning.
To this end, the Washington based non-profit, Learning Heroes, which commissioned the survey had sage advice to give:
Learning Heroes partnered with the National PTA and Scholastic to create a back-to-school action list of ways families can engage and communicate with schools. It gives advice for analyzing state testing data, preparing for parent-teacher conferences, and practicing skills at home.
All well and good I suppose except for the fact that the article appears to omit any culpability on the schools’ part over why the report cards don’t match up with the state test results, or why students need remediation when they get to college. Nor for that matter do they address whether and to what extent the curriculum used for math, as well as the pedagogies employed play a role.
The article resorts to the usual advice of help your kids by practicing skills at home. That parents need to make up for what students are not being taught in school is not in the province of this particular article, I guess. Math facts, apparently, are to be taught at home, and not practiced in school. Of course, students can get such practice by enrolling in outside learning centers such as Kumon or Sylvan, but why should “The 74” be concerned with that rather inconvenient equity and social class issue?