Bureaucracy and Parents From the Lower-Class

Editors Kretovics and Nussel (1994) suggest this country has not progressed much in “reducing lower-class stress in dealing with bureaucracies…(and) unless such problems are rectified, change will not occur, nor will chances for equality of educational opportunity.”  I think parents care for the quality of education their children receive but are overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated from unproductive dealings with school bureaucracies.  If parents would become more adept and experienced in this area, they would be better prepared to go into schools and make their voices heard.  How do we lessen the stress for parents in dealing with bureaucracies and better equip them with tools for the fight?

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One response to “Bureaucracy and Parents From the Lower-Class

  1. I believe that we educators must meet the parents on their turf. Home visits, bring meetings and workshops to the neighborhoods in which they live. It shows a good faith effort on our part while involving the parents & families. Bring conference night to the local church or neighborhood center so it is convienient for parents to attend. I believe if we are able to involve the parents then the kids are better off as it shows the children that their parents value education. I also understand that work & food are the first order of business for people living in poverty. When one is constatnly without, one remains in a survuval mode therefore, money for food, clothing & shelter are of primary concern. Somehow, we have to break down the beuracracy & make the school welcoming. In addition, parents who are illiterate themselves, may find anything to do with school intimidating. Especially if they had bad experiences in school themselves. We have to bridge that gap as well. Perhaps, by providing adult literacy classes or computer classes that can be available to those who would like to take advantage of them. It is a daunting task but I know that although we have tried several of this ideas in my school, some parents took advantage of them others did not. How do we encourage parent involvement in a community when we are not a part of that community? Build a rapport first? Then, would I – as a white woman -be accepted? Who knows? There are many barriers that would have to be broken down before ideas/services/involvement could be implimented.

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