How do parents determine the quality of education their public school children receive? How do parents know how their school measures up to others in the area or the state? These are critical questions. The answers may determine what colleges their child can attend and the classes they take.
Parents across the country measure their schools success or failure on their student’s grades. Unfortunately, this may not be an accurate reflection of academic achievement. Across all economic levels, seventy percent of students achieve As and Bs. This percentage is true of poor performing schools where children read far below their grade level and academically excellent schools.
Here are five questions that every parent should ask their student’s teacher, principal, and school administrator.
- How many students in each class receive As and Bs?
- Are there more than one career track for students? For instance, is there an academic track for college bound students and another for other students? How do they differ?
- How many high school seniors graduate? Of those that graduate, how many go on to college or technical schools?
- On average, how well has the high school prepared the child for college? Will they start college math or be placed in remedial classes to bring them up to speed?
- Does the local business community hire high school graduates? How satisfied are they with the students’ abilities?
The answers to these questions create a baseline from which students, parents, and educators can begin to improve the quality of local education. Working cooperatively and collaboratively, the business, family, and educational communities can come together to improve the quality of education.
These questions should be asked , answered and recorded each year and used to measure whether new innovations are working, and to point to areas that need improvement. In addition, they should be compared with others schools in the area and the state.