Court Cases to Class Curriculum: Ongoing Challenges of Education

As a parent, two of the most challenging life decisions can be choosing where to give birth, and where to send your child to school.  Although these challenges seem easy as ABC, even 123, – they\’re not adding up to equal an easy decision-making process.  The epic center of challenges began long before the case, Brown vs. Board of Education. In fact, it was once against the law for African American slaves to read, and now reading is fundamental.

Recently, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the topic \”The 2015 Education Choice and Competition Index.\”  In attendance – distinguished panel guest Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver, Director of Planning and Enrollment services Brian Eschbacher, with the discussion being moderated by Russ Whitehurst, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  From Denver to the District of Columbia the decision-making process for education may not be clouded when it comes to course curriculum.  In the District of Columbia one of Mayor Bowser\’s incentives allows students to ride Metro Transit free of charge to school.  The Mayor of Denver launched the \”My Denver card\” which provides all Denver kids free access to the city\’s recreation centers, pools and libraries.  Not bad decisions made by both Mayor\’s… now on the other hand if it amounts to determining a school budget that might not be so simple.

One educational tool which seems to be effective with proven results is Denver\’s public schools outreach effort which consist of going out into the community. Meeting the people where they\’re at, whether it be at the laundromat or church, and engage a parent in a critical conversation; education. In Denver Brian says \”we have informed families of the option\’s of choice\”. That says plenty to parents these days, especially when they don\’t even understand a voucher, and trying to navigate the home screen on a webpage.  Should the District of Columbia public school system model Denver? Denver is setting standards in various markets.  Let\’s get our heads out of the clouds and concentrate on the tough decision of sending a child to the right school for the best quality education.  Here is a possible starting point, proximity.

Do you want to travel fifteen minutes or an hour, or perhaps allow your child to take public transit?  What type of teacher\’s are at the school?  Are they diverse, cultured, and want to teach your child?  The next time you\’re out getting fresh air, and children are playing, consider taking a walk in your neighborhood and see what schools are close by.  Last,  but not least you can always talk to other parents and ask them what school does their child attend. Whatever you do, stay clear of the political emotional roller coaster.

Now that you have a few starting points to aide in your school selection process; don\’t stop there! Make certain to obtain information about the Parent Teacher Association.  According to the website the purpose is to \”make every child\’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children\”.  When asked should the PTA play a role in education reform Mayor Hancock replied \”sure hope so, … parents and teachers working together are two of the most important aspects of the school.\”

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