We are Responsible

Photo: Mahsun YILDIZ/iStock
SHARE:

In the current state of our education system, not surprisingly, student achievement has taken a hit. With no one stepping forward to take responsibility for two years of learning loss, inconsistent instruction, and teacher attrition unlike anything that has occurred in the last decade, the blaming and finger-pointing continues to swirl, looking for a place to settle. As education leadership debates responsibility, little seems to be improving in our schools. It’s time to examine responsibility and develop a plan for moving forward.

While it would be very convenient to blame all our woes on education policymakers, district administrators, teachers or finances, responsibility for educating children begins and ends with us, the parents. As a mother, I am ultimately responsible for ensuring my kid is learning. It is not enough for me to send him to school every day, get after him about his homework and make sure his uniform is ironed. I must ensure his skills reflect the level of competency his grades suggest. I must make certain he is learning when systems go down. I must secure his learning when campuses close. When virtual learning is the method of delivery, I am responsible for confirming he is making progress.

Largely, we have a scenario where parents are following what schools are doing. Virtual or campus, many parents are going along for the ride assuming system leadership will ensure their children are learning. This is certainly not the case. Two years in and our wings still are not level. As parents, what will we do to ensure our children are not falling so far behind that catching up is statistically impossible?

Enough finger-pointing and blaming. Those who are paid to be responsible for our kids may never step up and steer the ship during this storm. When our kids are grown up and need to fend for themselves, those paid to be responsible will be nowhere in sight, but we will be. We as parents have always been primarily responsible for our kids’ academic achievement. Rather than calling out everyone being paid to be responsible and waiting for them to step up, let’s make sure our children are learning. 

Dr. Teresa Sanders
Dr. Sanders is an international bestselling author, education researcher and student and family advocate in the education setting. Dr. Sanders has presented at international education conferences and is the founder of Safari Small Schools, an innovative micro school in Canton, Texas. Dr. Sanders created Safari Small Schools to meet the needs of learners who aren’t thriving in the traditional classroom. Dr. Sanders can be reached at DrSanders@safarismallschools.com.