Northwest NEWS

May 8, 2000


Responsibility rests in the home

   Wouldn't it be ridiculous to blame my competent dentist for my tooth decay if I didn't brush and floss regularly, or my otherwise productive realtor for not selling my home if I didn't keep it in client-worthy condition? To do so would be failing to accept personal responsibility for bad teeth and an unsold home, right?

   It's the same in public education. My only experience is with the Northshore School District, but I would bet the following is true for most districts in the state:

   In almost every case (save children with learning disabilities or other extraordinary situations), show me a child who is raised in a home where he speaks and is spoken to with respect; where he contributes to the family through regular chores; where he is allowed to struggle at times; where he is allowed to think, make decisions, and live with the consequences; where work is discussed in a positive light; where he reads or is read to daily; where a homework time is adhered to; where he is encouraged to pursue his talents and interests; where his successes, not his failures, are the focus, and I will show you a child who meets standards on the WASL.

   I am a product of, an employee of, and a parent of students in the Northshore School District, so I know of what I speak. If it turns out that my children do not meet standards on the WASL, then, given the education that's afforded them in Northshore, the responsibility for that outcome would rest solely on the shoulders of my children and me.

   One unexplored way to get kids up to standard is to help more parents run homes like the one described above.

Cindy Horst, Woodinville