Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Sunday, July 17, 2011



by Domenick J. Maglio PhD Traditional Realist

Almost everyone is aware that American education is in deplorable condition. No matter how much tax money we throw at the problem, which exceeds $1 trillion since 1980, it worsens. We are bombarded by articles and television reports that we are falling behind other nations in reading, science and math proficiency.

Too many Americans may be conscious of the overall pathetic condition of U.S. schools but remain supportive of their own child’s education. This phenomenon is similar to the one where the public is dissatisfied with government representation in congress but keep on voting for their local one. It appears as long as our leaders are likeable, smooth liars they can continue to do an atrocious job with impunity.

Local educators need to be held accountable for the results of their actions, not their ability to sound sincere with their excuses and doubletalk. Administrators and teachers should be judged by each child’s development as a learner. This means teachers should be accountable for the child mastering what is being taught before he can advance.

Parents have to be actively involved not in assisting the child with his homework but being informed by the child what he is actually doing each day. The child has to be held responsible to discuss daily at least one thing he has learned that makes him a better student. Parental focus should emphasize what is being taught not “is my child happy and being treated fairly?”

Even though the child has a sterling report card, denial by the parent of what they see with their eyes does not solve anything. Parents are being dishonest with themselves. This refusal to act just delays and worsens the results in reading comprehension, composition or math. Parents have to trust their intuition if there is a difference between what they see and hear directly from the child and what the report card states. A report card without integrity means the school is being dishonest to students and parents.

Students should be sufficiently trustworthy and responsible to actually tell the truth. A child receiving high (inflated) grades when unable to show skills and knowledge in academic subjects at home should alert the parent that there is a problem in school. The reason for this has to be determined immediately. Something is wrong and a conference should be made.

The simplest answer might lie with the child. He might be unwilling to show the parent the new skills he has learned in school. An appointment with the teacher would provide evidence that he has or has not mastered these skills. The child withholding his knowledge from the parent has a problem with obedience. This issue is an internal one that needs to be handled in the family with parents demanding the child be compliant with their wishes. Eliminating this game at home early will make things easier in the future.

However, a discrepancy between good grades and poor performance is a serious breach of trust by the school. Ignoring or accepting excuses for this practice will only perpetuate the harming of the student. Grade inflation, a system wide fraud has to be exposed. Only half of students entering college graduate even though the U.S. has the third highest per capita education expenditure worldwide. Our present educational system is undermining the development of students, our future leaders.

An education that pretends to be assisting a student to reach the height of his potential and does just the opposite has to be held accountable. Delaying the forming of good skills and habits while allowing and encouraging bad ones will do irreparable damage to the character and learning of the individual.

Our education administrators and teachers have to at least share their knowledge with their students and parents. Not to be transparent with either may be easier than providing an accurate evaluation but it will undermine the student’s education. Students not corrected for their poor habits and skills will reach a critical point where it becomes next to impossible to cultivate better ones.

Weak and uninvolved parents who are unwilling to believe their own eyes encourage the widespread abuse of student’s false “high self-esteem.” Dishonest parents who choose to be appeased with smooth talk and false evaluations are in store for a nasty shock. The ultimate victim is the student. When their child cannot qualify for or compete in college they are devastated and bitter.

Functioning adults who live with their children have no excuses to play dumb if their child is unprepared for higher education. A parent who observes her children playing video games or socializing on Facebook at all hours of the day and night should realize they are going to have gaps in their learning. Children who do not spend time reading books, writing compositions and doing higher level math at home are probably not being prepared for college.

It is the responsibility of the parent to be actively involved in monitoring not only the child’s daily academic work but also the yearly academic growth. This means the parent has to be aware of the teacher’s and the school’s goals for the child. The parents need to assess if the goals have been met. Parents should expect their children to make continuous progress during the year.

The questioning of the child and the school by the parents keeps everyone on their toes. Reliable communication by everyone including the child will improve the quality of education in America. Anything less for our children will hurt all of us. Any person who is less than he could be is a drag, or worse a burden on the family and eventually on the nation. The real losers are the child and the country.


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