I did adult literacy tutoring for years, about 1985-1993. It brought me into close contact with the great American working class. Indeed most of my students had two or three jobs, despite their disability. (I think it must be much harder for dyslexic people to get jobs now, since you hafta be able to read to use a computer.) Also of course there were no stay-at-home parents: both had to work in order to attend to their children’s needs, like clothes, food, shelter.
And their kids’ education? Well, they paid taxes for that, if they owned a home, and sales tax even if they didn’t. (In Pa the sales tax statute is subtitled “A tax for education”)
But it was obvious the public schools weren’t doing a very good job: kids could graduate high school reading at Level 2
And the constant refrain of the teachers back then was: “We can’t do this alone! If kids don’t learn it’s the fault of the PARENTS!”
I was enraged that these public servants, whose salaries were being paid by those exhausted parents, dared to blame the parents for the teachers’ failure. After the teachers have the kids 6 hours a day, 8 months outta the year, the PARENTS are expected to do the teachers’ job at night, after they get home form work, get dinner, clean up after dinner, etc., etc.?
But I was alone. Nobody seemed to see it like I did.
But NOW, the teachers are saying they don’t want parents involved AT ALL. Their unions have invoked the power of the federal government to prevent parents from voicing any opinions, from even finding out the curriculum being imposed on their kids!
up till now, teachers were ineffective to educate the kids without parents’ help, their help was essential, a sine qua non—
But now, parents are an obstacle to education, the prime obstacle, a threat to beneficial and effective pedagogy?
It’s just a delicious irony, is all.
Or maybe it’s due to the fact that people, at least in the educational establishment, no longer care whether kids learn to read and do basic math. In fact to insist upon and reward those proficiencies is mow racist, it’s an example of the evil “meritocracy” we must now abhor.