Teachers and school administrators want all students to do well and gain satisfaction in their doing so.

What does the student [and parents] want and how badly does he/she want it? Does the student settle for a Michael Jordan pair of shoes and a Bulls’ sports jacket? Or does he/she have longer term goals? Is the student deterred from school achievement because his/her peer group says that’s “acting white” and to be avoided? Who are the student heroes – jailbirds wearing their pants at half mast, movie stars having children out of wedlock?

The individual student [and parents] has to make a commitment to learning. I believe some schools have the student and parents sign a contract to this end. How hard is he/she willing to forgo, to postpone? The successful school in Austin has three hours of homework, a longer school year and achievement by all students according to the letter in the Journal.

As we know, all that is taught is not learned, and all that is learned is not taught [in school].

Claire Lareau
Oak Park

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