Opinion & Editorial

The big mistake parents make in education

This National School Choice Week (Jan. 26 – Feb. 1), I want to share with you one of the most common short-circuits that parents run into when choosing the right school for their child.
It starts with a thought like this: “Do I as a parent really know best about my child’s education? After all, I don’t have a graduate degree in education. There’s a lot of school jargon I’m not sure about. Should I let more-equipped people make the calls about where and how my child is educated?”
I understand the tendency to think that way. But I work with tens of thousands of school leaders around the country – the “education experts” – every year, and here’s what I believe:
You know your child better than anyone else. You are the expert on your child as a whole person — how they learn, experience the world, and what they’re passionate about. You are best positioned to help your student find the learning environment where their unique self will be cared for and inspired. Nobody is more invested in your child’s happiness than you.
The biggest mistake you can make as a parent is not recognizing the power you hold. Not only are you best equipped to make choices for your child’s education, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.
When a parent finds a learning environment where their child’s potential is unleashed, it can mean the difference between that child finding success, or feeling like a failure.
Change that starts with parents is the single most powerful way to improve education in Oregon. Seek advice and use research, certainly, but also believe in your instinct and expertise as a parent.
In Oregon, there are a variety of educational options to attend including: public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, online academies, private schools, and homeschooling.
School choice is the starting point for better schools, where families are personally invested and there is a strong human connection and open communication between parents and teachers.
This School Choice Week, parents, students, and educators in Oregon will participate in more than 412 events and activities, celebrating all types of K-12 education and sharing knowledge with each other.
Andrew R. Campanella is president of National School Choice Week. He lives in Miami.



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