U.S. Parents Involved in Education had a back-to-school checklist that is comprehensive. In a nutshell: parents take time to KNOW what is going on at your student’s school and in their classrooms. Be persistent in getting this information. Don’t take no for an answer. After all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Here are their tips:
- Check if your state is using the original Common Core Standards or a rebranded version.
- Find out if your state assessments are under PARCC, SBAC, Pearson, and/or AIR Helpful article: https://edexcellence.net/articles/the-state-of-state-assessments
- Ask to see all lesson plans outlined on a syllabus. Find out everything that they read in class, including digital books. This is your supreme court-protected right and you can opt them out of any material you feel is inappropriate. Things to look for include materials that favor international and globalism over American sovereignty, revisionist history, social justice issues as early as kindergarten, religious bias like Access Islam, sexually charged materials, and sustainable development.
- Learn about the truth regarding Social and Emotional Learning.
- Instruct your child to decline any and all surveys given in class. Refuse all behavioral and psychological profiles. Put this in writing. This is protected under the Hatch Amendment.
- Read the fine print on everything before you sign it. Do not disclose any information that you do not want shared. Protect your child’s data from unnecessary collection.
- Volunteer to see what is happening in the classroom and on the playground. Go observe for yourself and know what curriculum is being used. Also determine what is happening at your school regarding bullying.
- Go to www.fairtest.org and find out which colleges no longer require the SAT/ACT.
Update: A reader, Audrey Buffington, sent the following tip which is great so I wanted to add it: “See if the teacher will return tests and quizzes to the student to be brought home so that you can see them.”
I know some teachers are concerned about having tests and quizzes floating around that students can pass around to cheat, but the way around that is to develop multiple tests that you rotate through every year. I hand back tests to the students in my government class that I teach (and give them the opportunity to correct the test for extra credit). Handing back tests and quizzes is a no-brainer for me, but that probably is not the case in every classroom.