Teachers are guardians of education
During my fifty-four years of teaching history on the college level, many of my students were preparing to become teachers, and they not only had to finish their majors but also successfully complete the courses in education that are required for certification to teach either on the primary or secondary level. Every five years, these professional educators must renew their licenses; for them learning is a continuous process.
In a recent debate involving the candidates for governor, [Democratic gubernatorial candidate] Terry McAuliffe had the courage to state that parents should not be involved in fashioning the public school curriculum. Most parents do not have the expertise to perform such a function, nor do individual teachers make those decisions. They must implement the curriculum required by the Standards of Learning which is a program mandated by the Virginia Department of Education. This system of evaluation was instituted during the administration of former governor George Allen, who is a Republican. As a former educator, I find [Republican gubernatorial candidate] Glenn Youngkin’s misleading ad attacking his opponent on the question of parental involvement in public education unacceptable.
Parents have a vital role to play in the education of their children, but it should be one of cooperation, not confrontation. They have the obligation to supervise homework, encourage their children to explore new avenues of knowledge, and participate in those educational adventures. Meaningful learning does not end in the classroom, it only begins there. Social media addicts, television personalities, and political hacks are not the guardians of education, but professional teachers are.