A Parent’s Passion

“If we do it for you, we’ll have to do it for everyone else.” This wasn’t stated anywhere in the recent Upfront article about a family’s fight to get the best education possible for their child, but it seemed to be the underlying motivation in the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) decision to litigate rather than educate:

Chavez-Williamson had demanded too much from the system, rejected the advice of educators with years of experience, Adams said. She had “shopped” for different schools and teachers (an apparent APS no-no), then pulled him from those schools when his needs were not being met to her satisfaction.

“It was a constant barrage,” Mary Johnell Hale, APS developmental preschool program liaison, testified. “I love Sandra and her family, but she was consumed with getting ready to prepare Tommy for kindergarten.”

Nearly everyone agrees that parental involvement in a child’s education is a key component in a child’s success. Yet, it’s interesting that APS should decide to litigate rather than work with advocate parents to provide a special needs child the best education possible. We’ve all heard stories, watched movies and read books, of “experts” setting limitations on a child’s expected achievements only to have those limitations surpassed because a parent took seriously their individual responsibility to be their child’s number one advocate.

Of course, government systems and the bureaucrats that run them don’t like this behavior.  They prefer to put into place a system of rules and regulations for the “greater good” that maintain the status quo – often one of failure and mediocrity – rather than seek to continuously improve and recognize the needs of the individual. Consider the actions noted above that are considered negative by the school district and its personnel:

  1. shopping for different schools and teachers in an APS no-no
  2. being “consumed” with getting your child prepared for the next grade

How much better off would our schools be if every parent demanded the same accountability for their children? In a government run society, you are supposed to defer to the experts. However, one of the characteristics that has made this country great is those that have challenged the status quo and refused to settle for mediocrity and commonly assumed practices of what’s best. It’s troubling that any school would rather litigate than educate – especially a taxpayer funded institution.

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