The Los Angeles Times published an excellent op-ed piece today by John McCormick, a retired Los Angeles adult education teacher, on the folly of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s “worst-case scenario” budget plan, which puts LAUSD’s entire adult education system at serious risk of elimination. (For background on their proposal, read my post here; for an update, I recommend Marjorie Faulstich Orellana’s article in The Huffington Post, published last week.)
I want to highlight one particular point that McCormick makes in his article, and that is about the impact that shutting down adult education would have on parent/caregiver engagement:
Closing adult schools would also result in collateral damage to K-12 children. My students often attended the same schools at night that their children attended during the day. Because kids usually pick up English faster than their parents, if the parents don’t learn the language, they become marginalized in their own families. They cannot communicate with teachers, help with homework or even understand what their kids are saying. So instead of being able to help their kids assimilate, parents are more likely to remain isolated.
I’m often puzzled as to why parent engagement advocates aren’t up in arms when adult education cuts are threatened. In the paragraph above, McCormick does a great job explaining the connection between the two issues.