This article in Education Week (called “Schools Are Using Social Networking to Involve Parents“) is making me just a wee bit crazy. Here I go. Boldface mine. The article says:
“Digital technology is providing a growing variety of methods for school leaders to connect with parents anywhere, anytime—a tactic mirroring how technology is used to engage students. Through Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and text messages sent in multiple languages, school staff members are giving parents instant updates, news, and information about their children’s schools. Not only that, but a number of districts are also providing parents access to Web portals where they can see everything from their children’s grades on school assignments to their locker combinations and what they’re served for lunch.”
Gaaah! What are they trying to do, CREATE helicopter parents? (For more on the topic, see this interesting post about constant grade updates on Lenore Skenazy’s Free-Range Kids blog.)
“For low-income parents who feel they can no longer help their kids with learning as homework starts to become appreciably harder, …”
First, what does “low-income” have to do with it? This seems to suggest that low-income parents are the only ones who think they can’t do hard homework. Second, parents should not be doing the work anyway, should they? Regardless of income.
Or maybe the idea is that if the teachers can’t teach it during the day, then the parents are supposed to do the job at night. And of course the parents will need training and constant connection with the school — “anytime, anywhere” — to do that. Check it out:
“With donations from the Microsoft Corp. as well as $25,000 from the local school endowment, the district created “parent super centers” on five school campuses. Each center provides classes and training to parents on office software, Internet use and safety, and the district’s online grade-reporting system, among other topics.”
Twenty-five thousand dollars (just from the school’s endowment, that is; this does not include whatever Microsoft donated) to create “super centers” to teach parents how to look up their kids’ grades.
I like homeschooling for a great many reasons, and just one is that I am not expected to jump instantly (and neither is my child) at the call, tweet, text message, or status update of any school. Another is that I do not have to be trained at a $25,000 “parent super center” on how to look up my child’s grades. And if I want to know what my child is eating for lunch today, I am not expected to spy, I can simply ask.