“But not all of the kids in my class were lost. There was one who copied the statement in seconds, and then sat up straight, patiently waiting for his classmates to finish. After the test I asked him if he learned to write in cursive in elementary school.
“No,” he said. “My mom taught me because she thought it was important.”
And that is the true issue. The dilemma is not truly whether the “art of cursive” writing is important. The dilemma is the growing chasm between kids whose parents have the money, education, and time to enrich their children’s learning, and those that don’t.”
Parents who elect to put their financial and personal resources into doing what they feel is right for their children—often, the very things many schools have deemed unnecessary—are the reason why the achievement gap exists and is getting wider. It isn’t the schools or the teachers that shrink or enhance achievement gaps, it is the parents. Parents drive their children to succeed, drive their children off cliffs, or neglect to drive them anywhere. It’s as simple as that.
Parents who think their children should learn cursive will teach their children cursive. Parents who want their children to learn math fundamentals, not fuzzy math, will help at home or put their children in tutoring. Parents who don't like Common Core will homeschool. Parents who think their children should do their homework will ensure that their children do their homework. Parents will homeschool, afterschool, or weekend school.
What can the government do to correct the fact that some parents will go the extra mile for their kids, while others do not? They’ve been trying for a very long time to help all parents become more active parents with little positive results. Some parents do not put as much effort into their children’s lives as others do even with parent education. If there were a way to prevent the active parents from spending their time and money on helping their children, maybe they’d try it. They are, after all, trying to do what they need to do to reduce or erase the achievement gap.