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A School District Asks: Where Are the Parents?
New York Times ^ | November 11, 2008 | Winnie Hu

Posted on 11/11/2008 6:40:40 PM PST by reaganaut1

JERICHO, N.Y. — For school officials here, the numbers did not add up. Even as enrollment swelled to 3,200, from 2,600 a decade ago, attendance at Parent-Teacher Association meetings shriveled by half. Even as more students got accepted to Ivy League schools, turnout for the guidance department’s information nights was so anemic that counselors cajoled students to come — and bring along their parents.

Then teachers and administrators noticed something else: Jericho High School’s 90-member orchestra had become 70 percent Asian-American (the student body over all is about 30 percent Asian-American), but it still played for a mostly white audience at concerts with many empty seats.

The Chinese and Korean families that flocked to Jericho for its stellar schools shared their Jewish and Italian predecessors’ priorities on excellent education. But the new diversity of the district has revealed a cultural chasm over the meaning of parental involvement. Many of the Asian-Americans whose children now make up a third of the district’s enrollment grew up in places where parents showed up on campus only when their children were in trouble.

“They think, ‘My kids are doing well — why should I come?’ ” said Sophia Bae, 38, a Korean immigrant who shied away from P.T.A. meetings when she first moved here from Queens four years ago. Now a member of the organization, she invites other Koreans to her home and encourages them to participate in pretzel sales. “They don’t realize it’s necessary to come and join the school to understand their kids’ lives.”

...

[T]he district’s superintendent, Henry L. Grishman, sees parental involvement in all aspects of school life as critical to improving communication and helping students become emotionally well-adjusted and socially successful.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: aliens; diversity; education; english; immigrants; immigration; language; pta; publicschools
If kids are doing well in academic subjects and not causing trouble, why not leave their parents alone? Their parents' participating in the PTA is NOT "critical to improving communication and helping students become emotionally well-adjusted and socially successful".

My wife and I are Indian, and we instruct our kids in math and other subjects at home, because we think the schools are moving too slowly.

1 posted on 11/11/2008 6:40:40 PM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

Yo no habla Ingles


2 posted on 11/11/2008 6:44:29 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: reaganaut1

You want parents? Here’s how to increase parent involvement. Just start randomly flunking about 20% of the kids.

Look, dummies, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. Leave the parents alone.


3 posted on 11/11/2008 6:45:05 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: reaganaut1
My wife and I are Indian, and we instruct our kids in math and other subjects at home, because we think the schools are moving too slowly.

Then why send them to school? My wife and I are both graduates of homeschool. Public school is a waste of time.
4 posted on 11/11/2008 6:45:45 PM PST by TalonDJ
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To: reaganaut1

They’re just upset that they can’t play their power mind games on the people who aren’t attending.


5 posted on 11/11/2008 6:45:55 PM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: reaganaut1

I agree, why do parents need to come if the kids are doing fine?
That’s the flip side of not being able to get parents to help their kids who are discipline problems or failing.
Good problem to have.


6 posted on 11/11/2008 6:46:12 PM PST by LibertyThug ("Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." -Twain)
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To: reaganaut1
Unless you home-school, the school has your children for more waking hours than you do, for nine months a year. I would think it prudent to get involved and pay attention to what is happening to your children all those hours.
7 posted on 11/11/2008 6:46:33 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: reed13k

This seems like an invented problem, invented by someone with too much time on their hands.

I am all in favor of parental involvement in the schools, and with their kids education. These particular parents are doing something right, if their kids are doing well in school and not getting into trouble.


8 posted on 11/11/2008 6:50:44 PM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: reaganaut1

That’s great. I have met more genius Indian mathematicians then I can count. I’ve met a few European-American ones too, of course. But the percentage of Indians is so high. Of course the USA imported a few hundred thousand Indian Comp. Sci engineers in the 1990s, so it’s not a normal sample.

But still! I have one friend who can do six digit square roots w/ perfect accuracy. The formulas he created for our software was amazing. (Microsoft eventually hired him.)

I’m sure it’s a lot ‘nurture’, but I think there is some ‘nature’ in there too.


9 posted on 11/11/2008 6:50:57 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: TalonDJ

Public schools = Stalinist indoctrination sausage factories.


10 posted on 11/11/2008 6:51:23 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: TalonDJ
Then why send them to school? My wife and I are both graduates of homeschool. Public school is a waste of time.

exactly... that's what I tell my wife for my son but she has no courage...

11 posted on 11/11/2008 6:52:00 PM PST by sanatan2000
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To: reaganaut1

Don’t worry - Lord Obummer will pass an executive order forcing parents into the indoctrination cages with their children.


12 posted on 11/11/2008 6:52:46 PM PST by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Nope. Not gonna do it.)
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To: reaganaut1
The purpose of bringing in the parents is to proselytize them in the PTA faith, which is more money, more money, more money for union teachers and sycophant administrators. Oh, yeah, and more money for schools. And smaller classes And more money.

It sucks when you can't get the suckers in your church.

13 posted on 11/11/2008 6:53:55 PM PST by Navy Patriot (John McCain, the Manchurian Candidate, makes a Marxist President.)
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To: reed13k
They’re just upset that they can’t play their power mind games on the people who aren’t attending.

Bingo! Right on! The indoctrination starts with the kids and then "trickles up" to the parents.

14 posted on 11/11/2008 6:55:32 PM PST by mlocher (USA is a sovereign nation)
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To: reaganaut1

If parents aren’t attending the PTA, it’s because they probably don’t have the time.

If this is NY, they’re most likely moonlighting two jobs each to afford the taxes.


15 posted on 11/11/2008 6:56:16 PM PST by Old Sarge (For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an American)
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To: reaganaut1

You, sir, are to be applauded, as is your wife! Kudos for taking the initiative on behalf of your children. The teachers who want to do the right thing are strapped to burdens of ridiculous paperwork and politically correct silliness, thanks to the bloated beached whale carcass that is the NEA.

As for parents not attending PTA—why should they, after years of being told they are superfluous anyway?


16 posted on 11/11/2008 6:57:08 PM PST by Scothia (Don't blame me--I voted for Sarah.)
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To: reaganaut1

Just a guess. Maybe Parents stopped participating in PTA when they realized their voices were not being listened to. Teacher unions determine what happens in the schools, not the parents.


17 posted on 11/11/2008 6:57:46 PM PST by OCC
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To: reaganaut1

It’s all about the money.

The purpose of the PTA is to raise money — get the kids to sell stuff — which the parents end up buying.

The schools are underfunded, and the PTA tries to make up the difference from getting money from the parents.


18 posted on 11/11/2008 6:59:09 PM PST by i_dont_chat
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To: reaganaut1

You can run from the PTA, but they’ll find you and extract their pound of flesh in the form of magazine or candy sales.


19 posted on 11/11/2008 7:01:11 PM PST by Doohickey (The more cynical you become, the better off you'll be.)
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To: reaganaut1
I'll tell you exactly why don't come.

Bored housewives use the PTA as their own personal source for a social life and purpose in life. I am instantly transported back in time to cliques, Bunco parties and other inane idiocies that I was glad to leave behind in the ninth grade.

20 posted on 11/11/2008 7:03:41 PM PST by riri
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To: reaganaut1

This PTA crap has started in India too now. PTA are held in my kids’ school every 2 months and “both parents MUST attend”. Though many fathers stay away, moms attend because they are allowed to see the answer papers of the tests taken in the 2 months. I was called specifically to the school by the principal as I skipped the PTA for more than 2 years. Since my kid was doing OK, I was not too happy and asked the principal how many times her parents were called to her school. She was pretty well miffed and said “I didn’t do anything to have them called up”. I said “Exactly” and walked off. (Both the principal and my wife were stunned :) )


21 posted on 11/11/2008 7:05:24 PM PST by IndianChief
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To: Navy Patriot

That sums up well what I’ve always thought of the PTA, which is why I never had any interest in participating. Join the PTA? No thanks.


22 posted on 11/11/2008 7:05:50 PM PST by GATOR NAVY (guess I'm just a spudboy)
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To: IndianChief

Wow, another hero from India. You folks are giving me hope!


23 posted on 11/11/2008 7:09:36 PM PST by Scothia (Don't blame me--I voted for Sarah.)
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To: reaganaut1

Good! Ah-dzhu tschoh-ah-yo! Keep on doing what you’re doing! Never mind the PTA, keep to the subjects that are important, not the politics of the schools!


24 posted on 11/11/2008 7:20:15 PM PST by JulienBenda ("Youth is wasted on the young."--George Bernard Shaw)
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To: reaganaut1

I grew up in the next town over from Jericho, NY. Best school systme in the country. We had a great public education. I hope it’s still that way today. And no, my mother never went to a PTA meeting...ever.


25 posted on 11/11/2008 7:27:44 PM PST by Hildy
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To: i_dont_chat

That’s how it is in my town, too. No point in my attending PTA meetings because I already pay high taxes. I’m sure not going to fund raise more than I already do by working. Today, the teachers were off while many of the taxpayers, including my husband and I, worked.

Two of my kids go to public school, and two are homeschooled. The PS is not interested in me except as a fund raiser and payer of fees (class trip, activity fee, bus fee). Meanwhile, I can’t even get the high school teachers to answer my emails.


26 posted on 11/11/2008 7:29:26 PM PST by cookiedough
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Agree invented problem - invented by the schools and PTA who aren’t getting their $ donations.

I spend a lot of time going over homework with my kids - especially social studies and science where I continually find issues with the texts. I discuss these with them and make sure that they understand the difference between truth and getting a good grade. A’s and Bs only on the report cards every time, voracious readers, and willing to ask questions. What more could I ask.

I do not nor will I likely ever be a PTA/PTOer. I do go to school board meetings and ask questions periodically - which pisses em off.

See it isn’t about participation, it’s about patronization. They think it is their school - not mine and my neighbors. They think they get to call the shots with my kids. They’re wrong, I’m right. I refuse to play by their rules.


27 posted on 11/11/2008 7:33:02 PM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: reaganaut1

The PTA wants their money to support the NEA-led pograms. The PTA is not good for this country. Parent organizations that are autonomous to individual schools are the way to go.


28 posted on 11/11/2008 7:37:59 PM PST by petitfour
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To: Some Fat Guy in L.A.

There is something to that. I watched relatives become ardent Greens and Progressives as their children were inculcated in the schools. The parents were definitely inculcated right along with them.


29 posted on 11/11/2008 7:38:49 PM PST by reformedliberal
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To: reaganaut1

Having lived in Asian communities most of my life, I can tell you immediately what they were doing instead of wasting time at PTA meetings:

WORKING.

What a stupid article this is.


30 posted on 11/11/2008 8:05:28 PM PST by kaehurowing
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To: reaganaut1
This is a weird article. From my own experiences, the Asian parents I know (especially if 1st generation), are a bit naive about the public schools. They often don't realize the secular humanist indoctrination going on. They risk losing their children to the system to become Obama voters, as we see the current young crop.

I'm not going to air family dirty laundry, but suffice it to say that homeschooling is viewed with stereotypes, while loving, but naive parents fail to see that their beloved public school child (in the "best" school systems in the country) have picked up some Goth dressing habits, and so on, and don't see the red flags.

Maybe they want to have the Asian parents indoctrinated themselves in the PTA meetings, stuck with fundraising, or other superfluous issues (let's ignore any history revisionism, etc.), and perhaps they are trying to shame those parents into becoming involved?

Alinksy himself saw colleges and universities as radicalization centers. Obama wants to deepen that process, and go into younger years.

Hello, we are partially in this mess because parents have naively turned their children over to the secular schools. The days of not paying attention are over. I'm not picking on every public school, but as a whole, when you look in its history, and it's currents failings and resulting brain-dead products, it certainly should raise an eyebrow.

For those considering homeschooling, don't be afraid, and don't buy into the "leave it to the professionals" mentality. My theory is that if you love your children and you can read, you've got the potential for a successful homeschool (and I bet the illiterate parent with wisdom could find a way!).

31 posted on 11/11/2008 8:11:35 PM PST by elk
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To: reaganaut1

I’ve had parents tell me the public school PTA sessions are:
1. We need more money to do what we’re supposed to do.
2. Here’s the latest fund raiser, give us more money.
3. If the kids aren’t doing good, it’s because parents aren’t involved enough.
4. We have teachers, teachers’ aides and administrators galore, but we really need you to take time off work to monitor the lunch room, pick up trash, escort field trips - if you don’t you really don’t care about your child’s education. But don’t you DARE criticize the Politically Correct lessons, because we’re the hard working, hard trained professionals.

Which is why my firstborn is in private school.


32 posted on 11/11/2008 8:28:30 PM PST by tbw2 (Freeper sci-fi - "Sirat: Through the Fires of Hell" - on amazon.com)
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To: sanatan2000

she has no courage...”

Oh I don’t know....she married you!!!! ;D


33 posted on 11/12/2008 3:40:19 AM PST by DeLaine (You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it.)
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To: reaganaut1

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34 posted on 11/23/2008 5:53:04 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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