As I said in my previous post, I'm not yet prepared to dive fully into fever swamps of education policy in America. But here's a place we can all start: parental involvement. Daniel Akst shares some good common sense in today's Wall Street Journal, namely, that high-performing students tend to have encouraging, involved parents who focus on education as a collective goal of the whole family. He also scratches the surface of a deep cultural problem that I believe will continue to undermine American education for the foreseeable future, namely the indifference and opposition of many parents toward education. We all complain that many parents don't value education, but nobody seems to acknowledge that many parents actively undermine education. They disparage the curriculum, subvert students' respect for their teachers, and lobby for easier workloads and lower standards. Teachers who try to combat these tendencies are seen as engaging in a power struggle against the families. And there most certainly are some educators who are trying to subvert the influence of families on young students, which just feeds the perception of education as a struggle between opposing camps, instead of the partnership it ought to be.