Friday, January 30, 2009

Your local schools could be run by myspace...

myspace school.jpeg

Well-Connected Parents Take On School Boards: Web-Savvy Activists Push For Educational Change. Parents are using the power of the Internet and social networking communities to effect changes in their school. I will use Clint Eastwood terms to explain this phenomenon.

The Good

1. Parents have meaningful input for the schools their children attend. They have a vested interest and, more often than not, they want what is best for their children. The parents who want good grades handed to them whether or not they actually earned them are an irritating but small minority.

2. Education can be a somewhat insular institution. Forces from within (the students themselves) and from without (No Child Left Behind) draw attention inward.

3. Parents will usually be more supportive of a school that is responsive to their needs.

The Bad

1. Education is a unique institution. There is this odd belief that because one attends school for thirteen years from kindergarten through high school, they are educational experts. I know better than this.

-I go to the dentist regularly. I don't think I'm an oral hygienist.
-I can tell time. I don't think I can build or repair a clock.
-I can eat. I can guarantee you I'm no chef.
-I can read and write. I'm not an English teacher nor could I be one.

I will continue to support this grassroots effort in school districts until it goes too far. Order of curriculum, for example, should really be left to educators.

2. Groups have the potential to become mobs. Watch out for it.

The Ugly

C'mon, folks! If all the social networking tools on the web were a human body, myspace would be an ass pimple. Parents would be much more effective with Facebook. Hell, they'd be more effective with Twitter.

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