Parents Fighting the Education Status Quo
Lots of ink and even more chatter is being focused on the mini-rebellion of individual investors against hedge funds. Some hail the fight as the little guy finally holding the big guys accountable.
But there’s a more profound rebellion (or sorts) underway across the country, and it involves parents taking more control over the kids’ educations – to the growing ire and discomfort of the public education system and teachers’ unions.
As Reason magazine reports:
The empowerment scares teachers unions, which have a long history of attacking choice. Normally when parents try homeschooling or other options, union allies brand them as weird or extreme. The newest smear is even uglier.
Parents who bring their children together in small learning groups during the pandemic not only get labeled as eccentric, but also as segregationists guilty of promoting racial division in a nation with an ugly history of “separate but equal.”
The National Education Association lays out the talking point in a recent policy paper, and industry insiders have repeated the claim on dozens of platforms. Using loaded terms like “radical” and “unqualified,” they have sounded the alarm about a massive parental revolt.
Popular targets include families that have organized themselves into pandemic pods and microschools—two variations of homeschool co-ops that allow in-person instruction to continue in residential settings while brick-and-mortar classrooms remain closed or restricted.
Union leaders blast the innovation not because it fails, but because it works. They argue that the proliferation of home study groups will widen opportunity gaps and worsen school segregation because well-resourced families will benefit disproportionately. New York University sociologist R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy says pod parents engage in “opportunity hoarding.”
Insults and accusations won’t stop parents from doing what they think is best for their kids. Teachers’ unions have the same attitude toward their members, threatening to strike to keep schools they believe aren’t safe from re-opening.
Parents are looking for what works. That doesn’t make them radicals or ‘opportunity hoarders.” It makes them good parents.
Image Credit: BeenAroundAWhile at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons