Obama, If Education Starts at Home…

In response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech last Tuesday, Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post has echoed the theme of this education reform blog:

If the President claimed that a child’s education starts at home, “Then why is his administration insisting on pushing policies that evaluate and pay teachers based solely on how well they raise the test scores of their children? How can teachers be responsible for what happens to a child outside of school?” (See Strauss’ full article)

The Educated Society‘s theme is about creating this culture of education through enhancing the family and parents – and not just teachers. The larger societal problem of poverty, which afflicts over 20% of American children, is a primary reason for the low PISA scores in reading, math, and science literacy in 2009. Americans would actually be ranked first if comparable poverty rates were used (see It’s Poverty Not Stupid from Principal Difference). Thus, addressing poverty and family support for parents are vitally important to breaking this cycle.

The fact remains that, with a 21.7% poverty rate, we are higher than most other high-performing nations such as Finland (3.4%) or Japan (14.3%). President Obama clearly understands the primacy of the family as the foundation for children’s growth in his speech, but will not change his education reform direction without critical mass — i.e., only our collective voices can effect a change away from the current trend of teacher accountability and market-based solutions. Along with Valerie Strauss, I gladly supply it here.

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