(Fire the parents, not the teachers)

The good news is that education is on the front burner. People are chiming in. This opinion has a lot going for it. A lot.

I remember Al Shanker discussing in his NY Times column, Where we stand, a related issue… “Imagine saying we should shut down a hospital and fire its staff because not all of its patients became healthy.” He concluded by saying that students won’t learn if they don’t work harder. And they are unlikely to work harder if they hear that all of their teachers will be fired if they don’t. How does that make sense? It does not–not in the real world of hard work and working at learning.

Bill Maher is onto something. Unfortunately, our laws expect parents to sit back and watch the school educate their children. The laws tell parents to make demands and complain, but not to ‘parent,’ doing the hard work of helping their children be better students. There is work to be done. We need to have parents do it. Maybe Bill’s will be a wakeup call!

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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