It’s about time!

I loved hearing Bill Cosby and Dr. Alvin Poussaint describing their book, Come On, People—On the Path from Victims to Victors on today’s Meet the Press. They are on to something! Parents need to parent.

It’s about time! President- elect Barak Obama told parents the same thing–turn off TVs, be present, not MIA, and support their children’s education. Poussaint suggested a national conference on parenting. It’s about time. Let’s do it.

We know that schools cannot educate children alone—and, we even know, that the vital role of parents has been largely ignored in school reform efforts, to say the least. And, beyond that, I believe the role of parents in school laws, from the No Child Left Behind Act to the IDEA, the special education laws, has led us astray. Too often, these laws tell parents that their job is to be ‘consumers’ of school services, to ‘advocate’ for their children, to argue when they don’t like school programs, to file complaints, and to seek due process (as under the IDEA). Yet, with all of this, these laws don’t tell parents they need to parent their children. They miss the crucial role that parents can have in helping their children learn and succeed! It’s about time!

The laws don’t tell parents to parent—to help children learn, to support teachers and schools, to get them to take their own education seriously, to create a positive learning community. That is where we need to go. Hopefully, Barak Obama, Dr. Poussaint, and Bill Cosby will lead the way! It’s about time!

Do you agree?

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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