Monday, February 6, 2012

Response to parents concern for privacy

A parent expressed concerns that teachers might retaliate against parents who fight homework policy.  Here is the response I wrote on Facebook.  I hear your concerns, but I hope and expect that the day will come when this is not an issue. One of the points I make in my upcoming book is that parents who are feeling trapped by the homework system need to come together and form a group. It is true that for every parent who wants less homework, there is another parent who wants more homework. My guess is that the parents who want more homework tend to be on the PTA and have more contact with teachers, so their voice is better heard. The ones that want less homework are butting heads with the school and tend to meet with teachers (or with a team of teachers and school personnel) by themselves.  If your child has a homework problem, your privacy is protected, and that is a double edged sword, as there are other parents who are also meeting with the school with similar complaints, but for whom you never have contact.  My first step in writing my book is to highlight some fundamental misconceptions schools have,  not just about homework and its general value for kids (Sara has done a great job on that score), but how it is particularly detrimental to certain kids.  Once the book is out (looks like it will be available about March 1), I then want to address the question of how parents can come together, and organize within a single school district.  It think that is the key. Otherwise, we can be talking to each other from different places across the country. But if there is no organized effort within the individual school district, you'll feel all alone. There are instances throughout the country of specific school districts tackling this issue and specific groups of parents coming together to insist on change. However, for the majority of parents in the majority of schools, there is still a feeling of being all alone.


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