For Mother's Day this year, The Learning Curve asked six delegates to the annual Mom Congress to send us their educational wish lists. These "mom blogs" constitute an honest look at what's lacking in our school systems, a maternal reprimand of the current discourse, and a description of the dream school of the future.
My children are precious to me. They are not perfect -- I have been known to get the occasional call or e-mail from school -- but for the most part, they are solid students who want to excel. I want them to be all that they can, and school plays a pivotal role in their development, both academically and psychologically.
I want to make sure the schools my children attend are not only looking out for their needs, but for all kids who walk through the doors.
First, school needs to be safe, both physically and emotionally. When a school fails to provide a safe environment, it fails the child. There are policies in place to ensure children’s safety, but the enforcement of those policies is often inconsistent. All children have the right to a safe school environment every day.
Secondly, in this day and age, technology is necessary for our children to be successful. Funding shortfalls make it impossible for some districts to provide quality technological experiences to their students. Lack of technical knowledge puts children dramatically behind counterparts who have access to different forms of technology. Our states need to give schools the funding they need to keep our schools excelling and our students propelling forward.
Thirdly, parents must be willing and active partners with schools. George Santayana once said, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” Research has proven many times that parents who are involved in their children’s education have more successful children. As a working parent, I know the exhaustion that comes at the end of the day. I also know I have an obligation to fulfill to help my children with their schoolwork.
Lastly, I believe that the communities around us are our greatest resources. Even those who do not have children in school should give to our educational communities. Philanthropy in our communities -- with time or money -- would make a huge difference for our schools. Our children are our future policymakers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, care-givers, architects, business owners, environmental specialists and parents. When our education system fails, we not only fail our children, we fail our country as well.
Click here for more Mother's Day wish lists.
All statements and opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors, and not of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or NBC News.