How COVID-19 prompted more parental engagement in education
While the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Kentucky’s educational performance, it has also caused many parents to determine where and how their children attend school.
Such parental engagement is a priority to turn the tide of Kentucky education and ensure that many more of our students are prepared to succeed beyond their formative school years – whether in college or early in life. a career.
The results of this fall’s ACT – which assesses the state of the state’s high school graduates for their next season by determining their ability to achieve benchmark scores in English, math, reading and science – indicate that more educational opportunities are needed that impact students long before they do. their caps and dresses.
Almost half of our graduates failed to achieve the Readiness Benchmark Score in any of the four academic areas; less than one in five demonstrated satisfactory preparation in all four subjects.
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The impact of the pandemic on the level of education has particularly affected our minority students.
Only 431 out of 3,783 black students, or 11.4%, demonstrated proficiency in 2021 ACT Grade 11 math scores, which matters not only to college but also to many graduates looking to enter places directly. increasingly filled with modern technologies requiring strong mathematical skills.
In a 2015 research analysis showing how its scores relate to the readiness of those who choose to pursue careers without following the traditional academic path, ACT, Inc. noted, “Graduates need this level of preparation. they want to pass their college courses without remediation and to participate in workforce training programs ready to acquire job-specific skills.
Whereas it is not unusual for a qualified graduate to trade in their graduation outfit for a welding cap and the high five or even six figure income that often comes with it – without the prospect of a deep future indebtedness that too many people are enrolling in college to these days – more choices than ever are already being exercised in the education market.
As opponents continue to fight K-12 school choice legislation, parents are building the confidence to engage in their children’s education, using the pandemic to uncover and even create new opportunities learning for them.
During COVID-19, like-minded parents teamed up to form learning modules so young children in particular don’t miss out on the crucial educational and developmental skills that come with learning and socializing with their classmates .
Others pledged to hire instructors who ran micro-schools.
The spirit that inspires such concern about their children’s education, and the innovative thinking designed to ensure continued learning during the pandemic, is not only extinguished now that COVID-19 is faltering and children are out of control. back to classrooms.
Parents are now paying attention.
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And God help any politician, bureaucrat, or teacher union boss who gets in their way.
For example, Kentucky Kids Matter, a popular group made up primarily of parents whose children attend Bluegrass State public schools, currently has 37,000 members on their Facebook site.
Co-founder Jennifer Griffin recently wrote in a Facebook post that the group originally formed as Let Them Learn to Bring Their Kids Back to Classrooms has changed its name and expanded its focus because of what parents have lived with the public school system throughout the pandemic.
“During this difficult journey, we discovered problems deeply rooted in our education system… It was a wake-up call to everyone that we need to solve this problem and do better for our children and our communities,” he said. she wrote, spelling out eight priorities, including “real and more school choices”, “less buses and more community solutions” and “a voice and a seat at the decision-making table in matters of ‘education’.
“We have buried our heads for far too long,” she adds in her post.
Thank God for their discovery.
Jim Waters is President and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s free market think tank. Read the previous columns on www.bipps.org. He can be contacted at [email protected] and @bipps on Twitter.