Academic achievement is important in our increasingly competitive world. We live in a service-, technology-, and finance-based economy that depends on education to thrive and requires people have college degrees in order to be considered for top positions. In fact, some of the political rancor we are witnessing today pertains to the hope that America will return to its status as a manufacturing giant teeming with jobs that require less education, jobs that come with more benefits than the low-wage service jobs that have replaced them.
Debates about how well our children will be prepared to take the reins in our increasingly complex world loom. They include the issue of standardized testing versus problem solving and learning to think; learning cursive versus texting lingo; improving the quality of all public schools versus giving parents and kids school choice by providing vouchers; and providing more financial aid so that underrepresented students can go to four-year institutions versus improving the quality of community colleges.
How do you ensure that your child gets the best education in not only an increasingly complex world but also an increasingly complex education system?
Something that seems missing from these debates, and from conversations about education, is this question: How do parents—especially Solo Moms who assume most, if not all, of the parenting responsibilities—ensure that their children are prepared not just in terms of skills but also in terms of makeup?
That is, how do we produce children with a sense of individual and collective responsibility who stand up against injustices—from bullying to championing causes, such as confronting a lack of diversity in children’s reading material?
How do we produce children who:
- Want to be a part of the change they want to see in the world?
- Are kind and compassionate?
- Question but have a healthy respect for authority?
- Do what’s right versus what is popular?
- Have a good balance between book smarts and heart?
- Embody character?
- Become invested in making the world better than the one they inherited?
Although those are questions with no easy answers, they don’t have to be figured out alone. ESME’s community of Solo Moms is here to help, as well as ESME’s Education Resource Section, which addresses many of those issues.
I look forward to championing your efforts!