2001-05-12 / Editorial/Opinion

Can’t have One Without the Other

The buzzword in the education field today is "accountability." Teachers are accountable. Principals are accountable The Superintendent is accountable. There is accountability galore. Except, of course, where it counts.

Who is left out of the equation? Who is not accountable to anybody? Where are the parents who assure that their children go to school. Where are the parents who monitor their children’s homework and their work in school, who come to school if there is a problem? Where are the parents who attend PTA meetings and educational forums.

There is ample evidence that few of those parents exist today.

When report cards were distributed earlier in the school year, the chancellor made it a requirement that parents come to pick up the reports personally. So few came that the plan became a farce. Almost half of the parents at some Rockaway schools did not show up.

Last week The Wave and the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce held an education forum – a unique chance for parents throughout the community to listen to some important educational leaders and to ask they questions.

About 125 people showed up. Fewer than 100 of them were parents. The great majority of those parents who attended were parents from Belle Harbor and Neponsit who wanted to address a specific problem at PS 114.

Where were the parents from Far Rockaway? Where were the parents from Edgemere and Arverne? Where were the parents from Bayswater? In fact, where were the parents?

It is not often that parents get to question the district superintendent and the Queens representative to the school board. The fact that they stayed home says more about the problems faced by Rockaway schools than do the yearly reading scores.

Accountability is important and school personnel should be held accountable for their actions.

So, however, should parents and students and therein lies the problem.

School standards and Parents.

You can’t have one without the other.

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