• August 10, 2013
  • blog
This time of year, most parents will spend more time and more money shopping for what their offspring will wear to the school house than they will spend determining how to get the best educational plan for their children.

It just doesn’t make very much sense that learning should continually, decade after decade, take a far back seat to the cents that get spent in the mad quest for the kids to look their best while sitting in an inferior classroom with a teacher who looks past the name-brand outfits being worn and simply measures the kid as one who’s not going very far in life.

Shirlee Smith grumbling again, eh?

An on-line Huffington Post article reported that more than 90 percent of the 1,000 moms who participated in a recent survey said they spend more on new outfits for their children than they spend on clothes for themselves; more than half said they expected to spend more on clothing than any other kind of back-to-school product.

Total spending, the survey found, varies by region, but average spending per child nationwide is $131 for clothes .I’ve always had my doubts regarding cultural inclusion from information I glean from the Huffington Post, but the information from this survey solidifies my concerns. To take it even a step further, I think there must have been a misprint.

$131 hardly buys a year’s worth of underwear for a pre-schooler. Knock on just a few doors in the ‘hood – not a very scientific method for data collection, I’ll admit – if there’s a teenage son in any of those houses, the cost, not including sales tax, of just one pair of his many Air Jordans will top that average of $131 allegedly spent nationwide on clothing for school.

Going back to the point – but let me jump on the Air Jordans and throw in the Gucci bags that young ladies prance through the high school hallways with.

Ask either  Mom or Pop what History class Jamal is taking.  Ask them which teacher he has and what the teacher’s reputation is when it comes to having high expectations for all students.

You won’t get an answer.

These parents, like so many others, didn’t know that kind of information when their son was in elementary school and they also didn’t know he could hardly read.

But they made sure he was wearing the latest fashions and they didn’t mind spending big bucks on brand names. They continually spent time and money shopping for clothes and neglected to shop for the best in education.

Parents ought to spend time getting to know the teachers at the elementary school level.. This doesn’t mean attending PTA meetings or going to Open House. It simply means talking with parents of successful students to determine who their kids’ teachers were. It means talking individually with teachers to learn what they expect of students. And to only pick those teachers who believe that all students can be high achievers.

Yes, as a parent, we can have a say-so in who our kid’s teachers will be and in what classes they will be placed.!

Most importantly, as parents we need to spend time with our kids in order to have a sense of their academic acumen.

Education sense over shopping cents has long-lasting rewards.