John Florez: Parents have solutions if lawmakers just ask

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    Ok, how do you legislate that families care about their kids? If somebody can figure that out, this problem will be solved.

  • Joyce Wilson Ogden, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    You write that parents and children are expected to change and the school (by that I guess you mean teachers and administrators) remain static. Are you kidding? Over the past 50 years teachers and administrators have and continue to take on more and more of the responsibilities and duties of some parents and these parents seem to gladly turn over the reigns to our schools. The schools feed their children, the teach social behaviors, they teach citizenship, they teach hygiene, they teach parenthood, they teach sportsmanship, and the list goes on all the while trying to also teach academics.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    The problem with this theory is that public education should not be considered a business, and the parents should not be a customer. I think teachers, students, and parents should be compared more to a doctor and patient relationship. The doctors are the professional that prescribes what is best for the patient. Good parents don't work the appointments around their work schedule, they get their children to the doctor as soon as they can and when needed.

    It's time we stop this blame the teacher mentality that we have going. Parents, regardless of their economic standing, need to step up and be active in their children's education. Until we start treating teachers as the professionals they are and also hold the real stakeholders accountable--the students and their parents--nothing is going to change.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    Only when we have government for the people will public education matter to the government.

    As long as business interests own and control the government public education will be operated to produce the workers and consumers as desired by business.

    Public education tends to work against the goals and agendas of business by making workers want more money and consumers smarter about their purchases.

    Business of course, wants education available for their kin and will spend taxpayer money for schools for the rich and powerful; at the same time as putting education beyond the reach of ordinary people.

    If you want public education as part of the benefit of civilized society, you will have to find a way to get around the roadblocks placed in the way of voting by ordinary people.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    My wife is a first year Math teacher at a Jr. HS where many of the kids fit the description Florez describes.

    Out of 160 kids, *twenty two* of them had parents make an appearance at parent-teacher conferences, held over the course of two nights about a month ago. Most parents were working their 2nd job in the evenings.

    Not only does this situation deviate widely from the historic Utah assumption of a two-parent house with the mother staying home, when parents have 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs, they're doing well to put food on the table and keep the house warm, let alone supervise 2 or 3 hours of homework a night, take a detailed interest in their kids' educations, provide thoughtful input on how schools could better serve their needs, etc.

    By working hard and staying off welfare, these parents are doing what conservatives want them to do, but in the process the kids' educations are a slow-ticking societal time bomb.

    Its no wonder most of the teachers at these troubled schools look to transfer to schools where their skills are less needed.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    My question to John is this: Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? As a public school educator I will tell you that the evidence is not anecdotal. 12.5% of our students miss 15-20% of a typical school year. How can anyone teach effectively students who are not there? How can anyone reach their full learning potential if they are not in attendance? Parents should, from day one, make it a habit to get their kids in school and insist they get their education. Then they should insist that teachers teach. And those teachers who don't teach should be encouraged to look for employment elsewhere. But if your child misses because of every reason under the sun then the only blame to be placed is on parents who fail to do their jobs as parents.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 12:09 a.m.

    I agree to a certain extent. But I still the people that are most undervalued in education reform are the teachers. Ask how many teachers really want testing. Ask teachers how many want the common core? Ask teachers if they really want the next "innovation" in education thrown at them by their district administration. Unfortunately politicians seem to be making policy. basically driven by media created crises. You're right Mr. Florez, rarely do they get down to the grass root level, at least the grass root level of the poorest among us. They expect the same problems to exist at Granger HS as say Lone Peak HS. They use vague generalizations, come up with simplistic solutions (testing) and simplistic slogans ("accountability") and rarely give the teachers the tools to succeed, especially in our least affluent areas. I mean, what person in their right mind thinks putting 45 high school kids in a classroom will lead to quality education? Or 35 in an elementary class? But these concerns from teachers are rarely addressed, especially in Utah.