January 14, 2009 12:01 AM
I Are a College Student
I single out DPS in this cartoon only because it's the largest district around, and as such, is representative of the inability of many school districts to prepare its college-bound students for the rigors of higher education. As the parent of two former DPS students now doing quite well in college, I know that this drawing paints a somewhat inaccurate picture. My kids got a good education in DPS schools. That said, many of their classmates did not, and they went to two of the best-performing high schools in Denver.
I'm guessing that many readers will be only too happy to blame the teachers' union, so-called "educrats," lack of discipline, lax standards, grade inflation, or liberalism in general. Oh, that it were so simple that we could blame one thing or group and be done with it. My kids had all the advantages: a home full of books, computers, two educated parents who read to them, worked with them and demanded high performance, met with teachers and administrators, and had enough time and money to support their speech and debate, choir, theater, sports, National History Day, Model UN, Odyssey Club, newspaper, and whatever else they became interested in doing.
I'm convinced that parents are our children's primary teachers, and that the school is only one of the educational tools that we use. If we don't do our job, the school cannot possibly pick up the slack, no matter how skillful and dedicated the teachers may be.