In large part, it goes back to what I talked about not too long ago. There is far too much passing the buck coming from teachers these days. It seems like there's no real way to win. We're either helicopter parents challenging every decision or we're inexcusably uninvolved*. Of course, it is blisteringly obvious that many teachers want only a certain sort of involvement--anything that serves to make a child question the teacher's edict is frowned upon.
One of my friends posted a photo to her Facebook yesterday of a classroom "citizenship" project her son had been been part of recently. She said that, when he first came home complaining of the assignment she didn't understand. What's so wrong with learning to be a good citizen? Well, she saw the cards the class made, and she understood.
See, she'd made the same mistake you and I probably would--citizenship is about being a good citizen, right? About becoming informed about local issues and politics and acting upon your convictions in regard to such. Easy-peasy. But no:
Choice "good citizen" declarations:
- A good citizen follows directions.
- A good citizen sits appropriately in chairs.
- A good citizen uses eyes to focus on the speaker.
- A good citizen obeys classroom rules.
BS like this is why parents are giving teachers such a hard time. It is fundamentally dishonest (does anyone really think classroom rules are decided upon democratically?), and moreover divorced from what these things mean in the real world. School is supposed to give kids the tools they need to be productive members of the community. It is not supposed to inculcate them in a certain way of thinking, and anyone who went to government schools (which is most of us, let's face it) knows how much of that goes on.
Overall, in spite of the continuing refrain of "we're not nannies" in the article, there is unspoken emphasis on abrogating your position as primary teacher of your children. Again, you can't have it both ways. By the time any given daughter starts kindergarten, I've had more than 10 times the experience with her that any one of her elementary school teachers will. Reasonable people are going to be unwilling to turn the care of their children over to a succession of strangers with only a general idea of kids and no special knowledge of their kid.
*Oh, yeah, about that non-involvement. The deck is stacked against parents. Especially working parents. Especially lower-income working parents, the ones who are paid hourly and can't afford to lose half a day's work for something stupid like coffee with the principal or a noon parent/teacher conference. But they really just don't care about their kid's education.