News for irresponsible parents: You cannot rely on the public school teachers to do all the work. If you want to give up your children for adoption because you are too busy working or partying, that would be kinder than forcing underpaid teachers to raise them for you.
“Our kids come to us at all different levels, but it is pretty clear which children have parents that are working with them at home,” reported Shelia Simpson (names changed), a Head Start instructor on the West Side of Chicago. “These children are much more verbal, can stay on-task, know numbers and letters, recognize patterns. Basically, they have already learned their basic skills.”
Rachel Banks, another Head Start instructor, summarizes the widening gulf between students with and without education reinforcements at home: “The children who complete our voluntary take-home assignments with their mothers are the ones who can tell colors, count and know their ABC’s. The children who do not return the assignment do not know numbers or colors, but can sing all the words to a radio song and know all the television characters’ names.” [Will Okun]
Of course, Mr. Okun is not some kind of radical libertarian freak who expects parents to take full responsibility. He knows that there is only one “parent” strong enough to shoulder the burden of raising everyone’s children:
Why are some parents not teaching their infants basic skills like numbers, colors, letters and objects? . . . Should the government play a larger role in early childhood development or should that responsibility continue to rest primarily in the hands of the individual families?
It’s obvious that if the government-run schools have been unsuccessful in educating children because parents do not take enough responsibility, then the response should be to remove all responsibility from the parents. Well, I’m sure it’s obvious to Mr. Okun, anyway.