Real Accountability in Education

The summer break for teachers and students is almost over, and a lot of families are wondering what kind of a school year to expect. There is so much conflicting and confusing information out there, and it is difficult sometimes to understand exactly what we need to do.

Do not be alarmed, because there are a few simple principles that all parents can follow, that will give children the best chance to be successful in any grade, in any school... no matter what the legislature decides to do up in Tallahassee [Florida].

1. Agree, as a family, that education will be your priority this year.

Make sure that everyone is on board, that a deliberate commitment is understood by all involved.

2. Be prepared for school every day.

This means adequate sleep, appropriate clothing, well stocked supplies and encouraging words. Children of all ages depend on their parents to help them take school seriously.

3. Get to know your child's teachers as soon as possible.

Open communication between people who respect each other underscores good teaching. Misinformation, no information, mistrust and contempt all undermine education. You make the choice.

4. Hold your child accountable.

Homework, behavior, attendance. As parents, it is crucial that our children understand our commitment to their education. They take their cue from us. What we consider important, they will too.

5. Create a family atmosphere that obviously values learning.

Strict TV guidelines, family reading times, educational trips together, reasonable bedtimes. Again, as parents we are the leaders of our families, and leaders set examples. Our personal choices are especially influential.

6. Live as if raising healthy, successful children were the single most important responsibility we have in this life.

Indeed, it is! They are our children, our opportunity, and school is only one piece of the complete puzzle.

It really doesn't take a rocket scientist, or a governor, or even additional time. Everything else is in place. Now it is up to us, the families. If we want accountability in education, we know right where to start.

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