Most military families aren’t shy when it comes to their children’s education. They can’t afford to be. With each PCS move and each new school come the tasks of making sure military kids are placed in the right classes, receive needed academic support, and are helped through the social and emotional challenges of school transition. Military parents understand that they are their child’s best and most important advocate.
However, as important as it is to advocate for your child with their teacher and school administrators, the reality is that many of the decisions that have the greatest impact on our kids’ education happen at a much higher level – by school districts and states. And it’s important that military families’ voices are heard at these levels, as well.
Take the issue of state standards. Each state has its own guidelines determining what math and reading skills students are expected to master at each grade level. The standards don’t dictate curriculum or how teachers teach – but they do influence what is taught and when.
Of course, all students should go to schools with academic standards that are appropriately rigorous, to help ensure they’re ready to succeed in college or in careers. But for military families, the issue of state level academic standards is even more important. Remember, state standards dictate when and how schools teach critical math and reading skills. Moving between states with different standards could end up with a military child far ahead of his or her new classmates – or struggling to catch up.
Luckily, over the past few years many states have moved to adopt similar academic standards. But it’s still important for military families to make their voices heard, so officials in school districts and states know how important this issue is to the military family community.
So, how can you get involved?
First, join our Education Revolution! We want officials at all levels – local, state, and federal – to understand how important the issue of academic quality and high standards is to military families. The simple truth is that many schools serving military kids just don’t stack up. But we’re working to change that and you can be on the front line to make sure your child’s school is top notch.
There are also resources to help you learn about the academic standards in your state and how they compare to other states’ standards across the country. Is your state falling short? Let your state government representatives know that academic standards matter to you and your family.
Inconsistent education standards mean our military kids aren’t always on an equal playing field. Quality education is your military child’s right. But we need you to join the fight.
Check out these military families who are joining us in the battle for an Education Revolution and tell us about your child’s education journey by leaving a comment below.