So my post on the Roosevelt AP course for all sophomores generated some debate. I wanted to link the excellent debate on AP that was in the Washington Post that Dorothy had noted. (I haven't seen a real debate in forever so this was great just in and of itself but the questions raised - on both sides - were good.) Some of Dorothy's questions about Roosevelt and the AP Human Geography being offered in the sophomore year made me think of a larger issue.
Should parents have any role in the course of academics at their school or in their district?
My experience is that schools might have a meeting or two to explain what they are doing but have no real intention of soliciting parents' input or ideas. We had some lively meetings at Hale when they were starting to initiate the switch from separate AP/Honors classes. ( Okay, take out lively and put in tense.) The teachers clearly knew that parents were unhappy but really didn't care. This was a decision that had been made. I remember one teacher, who will remain nameless, who said, in a moment of anger, "If we didn't have parents like you we wouldn't have to have AP at all." Well, that was telling.
I have found it difficult to talk to teachers about curriculum or even homework. From the administration and teacher POV, I'm sure they believe that parents come and go but this is their workplace and they are trained and therefore know best. But it's hard to take when there are many parents who are unhappy over a single issue. (I have been quite impressed that the Where's the Math folks have gotten as far as they have but I think it helps to have some professors in the group.)