Re: Parental Responsibility and Social Responsibility
- Subject: Re: Parental Responsibility and Social Responsibility
- From: Judi Hirsch <judih@OUSD.K12.CA.US>
- Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 14:53:28 -0800
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Hey Leo, great letter!
I had been thinking of using your example of low voter turnout as a
better example of a "test" of the required US Government class than a
standardized test. To me, if nobody votes, then who cares if the students
pass the exam? just another example of the inanity of these paper wasters.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dr. Leo Casey <LeoCasey@AOL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, November 25, 1999 7:38 AM
Subject: Parental Responsibility and Social Responsibility
> Every parent has the responsibility of obtaining a good, sound, quality
> education for his/her children. Most parents do their absolute best to do
> that, just as most teachers do their level best to provide it. The
> should not be what the parent does in that quest, but what society does to
> help the parent meet that responsibility, and how society meets its
> obligation to provide the means for that education.
> I live and work in a large urban school system (by far the largest in the
> and probably the world) where I have spent 15 years working in an inner
> high school and where I now send my three little girls, acquired by
> relationship, to the public schools. I have seen first hand failing public
> schools on many occasions. Our system is by no means the worst urban
> in the US, but it has its share of the problems all urban systems do.
> I would never, not even for a moment, criticize parents who sent their
> children to a private school, using a voucher, or who even home schooled a
> child (not a real option for most of ours, who are single parents), rather
> than send that child to a failing school where they would not receive the
> education they need. You do what you have to do in this context.
> (It is a different matter when a parent avoids a perfectly good public
> for some other set of reasons; we need to investigate what those reasons
> No doubt, there are some who do not want to send their children to a
> where they sit next to mine, who are African-American. Believe me, I have
> seen it; it happens. That is something I will criticize, without
> I will also never stop criticizing a society which, rather than providing
> quality education to each and every child, and especially to those most in
> need of it, sends them on such quests. It is absolutely obscene that we
> should suggest that we have met our collective, social responsibility to
> provide a sound, quality education to each child by giving a parent a
> and setting them loose in the educational "marketplace." When the streets
> not safe, do we give them a check and tell them to hire their own security
> service? When their house is burning down, do we give them a check and
> them to hire their own fire fighters?
> It is precisely because police deliver a public good as well as an
> good that we insist that public safety be a public function. We do not
> private security guards running about who, while they MAY protect the
> individual lives and property of those who hired them to do that (and we
> not even sure of that), would place the liberties of the rest of us in
> danger. While police often fall short of the ideal we set for them and for
> our society -- equal protection of the lives and property of all, and
> for the liberties of all -- we can hold them accountable for failures to
> deliver that public good. We could never do that with a series of private
> security agencies. Or with folks who think that they could provide their
> security by holing up in the houses and greeting everyone who appears at
> door with a weapon.
> This notion of a public good, not reducible to individual goods, is
> absolutely essential to understanding the centrality of public education,
> why I make such a point of the importance of public education for a
> democratic society. Education must supply a great deal more than the means
> for our children to make a living, an honest productive and meaningful
> in this society -- what we can call the individual good. It should -- and
> this is why public education is essential -- provide that good to each and
> every young person, and it should be educating them to public, civic
> to a life as an informed, involved citizen. In a day and age when we have
> lowest rate of voter participation in the entire developed world (a
> phenomenon which is symptomatic of a much greater civic disengagement), we
> a society cannot afford to let this public good be lost in a swelter of
> private schools and home schools.
> Leo Casey
> United Federation of Teachers
> 260 Park Avenue South
> New York, New York 10010 (212-598-6869)
> Power concedes nothing without a demand.
> It never has, and it never will.
> If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
> Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation are men
> want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and
> lightening. They want the ocean without the roar of its waters.
> -- Frederick Douglass --
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