ECM’s recent editorial on a formula for education success offers a misguided and fatal solution. To get kids to at least grade-level reading by third grade, ECM actually advocates that others do the job that parents refuse to do. This never works.
Having the gall to relegate parents as mere “partners in their child’s educational experience,” ECM proposes continued subrogation of children to public schools, volunteer groups and nonprofits. But this is precisely what the cause of the vicious circle of illiteracy has been: uninvolved parents and inefficient allocation of resources used by disinterested third parties. This model therefore cannot be the solution. It is not about collecting more funds but rather advocating the reversal of the self-centered decisions that parents make to not read with their children daily.
How can it be that parents don’t read with their own children? Are they both “too busy” with sports, shopping, Facebook and TV? Nowadays it should be easy for parents and their kids to sit and enjoy an online story together, cuddle up with a Kindle or even read something called a “library book.” Overburdened parents can acquire affordable reading software and games that kids can do on their own.
While public schools can help children in severe cases, the responsibility before third grade must lie squarely on the parent. But what a joy to have it! Sitting down with one’s own child, enjoying a snack, and talking and reading together is a blessing and responsibility. — Kelly Wing, Wyoming