Current Issue

College and careers

An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.

Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

There's a chilling but not surprising scene in last night's PBS NewsHour segment on truancy prevention efforts in New Orleans, when cameras follow probation officers to the home of a 2nd grader who's missed a lot of school. 

Standing outside the doorway, the officers and the parent talk about who's really responsible for making sure the child goes to school -- the parent or the kid. 

You can watch or read the whole segment here, or see a few frames of the confrontation (with captions) below.  The parent is off camera behind the doorway.

There's a chilling but not surprising scene in last night's PBS

NewsHour segment on truancy prevention efforts in New Orleans, when

cameras follow probation officers to the home of a 2nd grader who's

missed a lot of school. 

Standing outside the doorway, the officers and the parent talk

about who's really responsible for making sure the child goes to school

-- the parent or the kid. 

You can watch or read the whole segment here, or see a few frames of the confrontation (with captions) below.  The parent is off camera behind the doorway.

12 comments

cermak_rd wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

That's the question isn't it? Would the child be better off? I found myself at first thinking, this child should be taken away. But foster care is a lousy system, and adoption is a no go for a child this old and (likely) this damaged by his family. He has a Father somewhere (if alive) but if he's not shown much interest in the child up to now, he isn't a good solution. Relatives may already be overburdened and uninterested in helping out, especially if they have a poor relationship with this woman.

In this situations, the parents (and I blame the father too if he's alive and knows he has a child) are clearly to blame, but assigning blame doesn't really help this child in any way.

will wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

it is interesting that all of the comments are about Vallas. How about suggestions to make the parents get their kid to school?

Why is it anyones fault but theirs? I think that his statement is completely valid. A 'culture' that involves not making sure that your children are in school is not a valid culture. They obviously need to change.

I don't think either that we should use positive reinforcement to fix the problem. Like, if your child has been truant, but you get them to school, we will pay you. Better that they go to jail. The kid will then have no parent you say? They are most likely better off than with a parent like in the above clip.

George did report much and often wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

on the non-miracle and corruption of PV and his friend in Philly---that little red car story was a hoot! -so please subscrib--glad another thinker/blogger will now realize that George was on the right track about PV. As for Rhee and him doing the de-chocolate thing--please add daley to the list as well. Paul was really only doing daley's bidding--the difference between PV and AD/RH is that Paul at least had a stopping point. These youngins sell their soul to the devil and still survive!

Paul Vallas Go Away!!! wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

Paul Vallas is a villain of epic proportions. He got booted out of Philadelphia (someone find and report the dirt on that - Hey George where are you when we need you). Now he's down in New Orleans with his plantation mentality in full roar! Keep Massa Paul in the cane fields where the "broken culture" shows he still knows nothing about poor, urban, Black kids. He needs to take the racism and republicanism in democrat clothing someone else. Maybe he and Michelle Rhee can figure out away to de-chocolate Washington, DC.

No no NO! wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

New Orleans Truancy Report PBS_ PAUL VALLAS: “Look, we introduced a heck of a lot of technology into the classrooms, SMART Boards, promethium boards, laptop computers, benchmarking, managed instruction, to make sure that we're giving them the resources they need so that they have a chance for success, but the rest is up to them.†PAUL VALLAS: “You're asking me, do we have a problem with truancy? Yes. So it is a serious problem, and we're trying to take action. But I'm not going to change to accommodate the culture; I want the culture to change to accommodate me.â€
CPS, principals BEGGED you to get truant officers, but he ignored them. And the last comment—Well, it really says who he is STILL and what you are about. NO No NO--Please just go away.

Danny wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

An excellent News Hour segment!

It looks as if Vallas is doing a good job, although it kind of makes one wonder why he didn't reinstate Chicago's truant officers. Perhaps he's learned a lot since then.

His care, concern, and passion for children are quite evident.

I never thought I'd say this, but it would be nice to have him back in Chicago.

You see right here--on film wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

these are the children the neighborhood schools nurture, feed and take in. And these idiots blame teachers when they do not have exceed scores on state tests or NEAP. I will accept charters when they go to homes like this and enroll these poor, shuned by their parents, helpless children in their schools.
Right! Mom is going to pick up the application, fill out the application, personally return the application, stay for two 45 minute conferences, know this child's test scores and immunization recordof and fundraise for the charter. LIERS!

Truant officer Do work wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

When we had them, as a division teacher in a CPS HS in the 80s, we used ours. She kicked a!!!. She got those kids in to school and scarred the pants off of mama, because she could write them tickets and they would have to go to court.
We loose $9 a day, every day, for each student that is absent--now Xs that by 70,000 student absent PER DAY.
They are business people running CPS and they do not get this ?

Daley's Plantation wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

Vallas did lengthen the instructional hours of the day and extended the year in New Orleans and brought in technology into the classroom. Duncan did none that. Huberman take note!!!

Truant Officers wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

CPS fired our truant officers. There is no monitoring of
homeschoolers. We have parents who say they are homeschooling and we find out the child is babysitting or working downtown as a bus boy.

xian wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

Vallas shut down all of the public schools and created a three tiered system where all of the kids who suffered the most in Katrina are rotting in decrepit classrooms with no social services.

NOLA also has extreme high incidence of teacher mental health issues. Williard-Lewis (the councilperson for the 9th and surrounding areas) described how they were sold the idea that these new, younger, whiter, teachers from the outside would improve the broken system. She called them her, "Baby teachers". She described how without adequate mental health facilities, there was massive attrition and health problems among the new teachers.

When we visited, we saw a school that had been moved from building to building constantly throughout the last couple of years. The building they were in ended up having not nearly enough facilities. So the kids ate in the "cafetorium", during classes, cubicle walls were pulled out and divided the classrooms, but the kids had to filter their own teacher's words out from the five classes being held in the same room.

The total destruction of the teachers' union is also a tragedy, but for me, it's the fact that Vallas' crew have committed such atrocities on children that bothers me. I hope he never comes back.

cermak_rd wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

When Parents Want The State To Take Over

Of course there's no monitoring of homeschoolers. Under both state and federal law it's pretty much an honor system. Some parents who do it are committed and some are not so much.

I'm not sure truant officers are going to help anyway. When the system did have them did truancy go down?

go here for more