A good school with committed teachers makes all the difference in children’s education, a group of parents from Chicago’s A.N. Pritkzer Elementary School agreed as they talked recently about the state of education and what should be done to improve it.
"You can tell who has a passion for education and who doesn’t," says Chicago parent Melody Meyer. "If I’m going to entrust my child to you six hours a day, you and I better be able to work together. It takes everyone in the building to make sure the children are safe, secure and getting the best education possible."
Xavier Botana, head of elementary curriculum and assessment at Chicago Public Schools, says parents must demand that their children’s schools provide a good education. They cannot settle for schools that don’t meet the needs and they must work together with schools, he says.
Parents may not be able to help their children with the specifics of their homework, but they can help them organize their time and provide a quiet place for them to work, says James Rosenbaum, an education and social policy professor at Northwestern University.
When NCLB results get released, parents can ask how they can support and help the schools, he says.
"It takes parents who value education. That is the key," says parent John Jacoby, whose two children attend South Loop Elementary School. "We all know that the number one precursor to a good student is being in a home where the parents do a lot of reading and the children model reading.
"If not, they start out behind the eight ball."