I have been informed that asking parents for help with homework constitutes “cheating” under school rules. #wtf #publicschool

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  1. Uh, no. It’s a valuable job skill. Students need to learn that it’s okay to consult reference materials or more experienced folks when they don’t know how to answer something. It’s much better than pulling something out of your ass, particularly if your job is something like structural engineer.

    If I had a child and his school said that, I’d help him anyway. Then again, my idea of helping is not “the answer is 42”. I’m more likely to show how to find the answer, and for the purposes of this inane rule, that’s not “helping”, that’s “teaching”.

  2. The only reason I can see this being a useful rule is that they’re probably avoiding parents doing their homework for them. This must have been a big problem for them back in the day.

    Now, I do remember that when I went to college to get a four year, I was on my own for the most part. Collaboration between students wasn’t allowed. And I surely didn’t ask my parents for help. So maybe this is in preparation for college.

    I’m not saying that their policy is RIGHT, (I definitely think it’s a bad policy, especially in the earlier grades) I’m just trying to figure out why they set up that policy.

  3. Excuse me?

    When did that happen? that wasn’t the case for me!!!!!

    it seems like your public school seems really fucked up. It doesn’t seem that hard to distinguish between (or create a policy that states) “we fully encourage parents to help and participate in the learning of their children–but it must be emphasized that the actual work done to complete homework must be done by the student themselves.”

    not that hard.



    1. I can only reiterate that both teachers and former students we know seem to agree we have a better than average school system.

      1. I can only reply…

        … that I must have gone to the best fucking school system on the planet then.

        one not run by idiots, I guess…

  4. Parents doing work for their kids is rampant in public schools (and private ones).

    The problem is that the goal is no longer learning, but grades. Grades mean getting into a good college, without which your child cannot possibly have a good life, so they must get good grades at all costs even if you have to do the work for them.

    I have seen it over and over and over in the upper-middle class kids I taught. For some reason, because I was not a school teacher, they felt they could confess in me, and sometimes their parents did too. Parents freaked out about the SAT because they couldn’t get a good score for their kids; the best they could do was throw thousands of dollars at a test prep company and hope. In school, however, they could do homework and bribe teachers. These were nice parents mostly it seemed, and the justifications both they and their kids had for this kind of behavior was really sad. Sometimes they were in a kind of mutual denial of what was going on. “He has trouble writing but can tell me his ideas, so I just help him write his papers.”

    Grades are supreme. If your daughter does not have a 4.0 her entire life is ruined. Better start doing her homework or her now, before she falls too far behind.

    1. how whack.

      Seriously.. do these parents then consider that their child will be unprepared when they can no longer write their papers for them???

      Perhaps this explains the rather dramatic fall off in writing skills of my students over the past 8 years… I mean.. UW basically admits only the top 10% of its high school students.. and I get people who I would consider at a 7th grade writing level.

      My parents helped me by giving me a metaphorical kick in the pants–and they helped me find resources for papers (something I was notoriously horrible at when I was younger..) but I would never expect their help actually writing a paper or doing other homework.

      I guess this is more of a parenting problem then–parents who aren’t willing to take the initial added start up time to help their kids LEARN HOW TO LEARN.. and a school system that is treating the symptom rather than the problem.. (something the parents should be treating also, of course.. )

      1. Re: how whack.

        Actually, I think that parents realize that the public education system is a joke, and understand that it has nothing to do with learning. Learning is merely a possible byproduct for those children who choose it, but it is not the main game in town.

        As an educational anarchist of sorts, I can never decide whether I support yet another weakening of the system from within or disdain it. On the one hand, it’s about time people realized that public school was nothing but a social sorting mechanism and has nothing to do with actual learning. On the other, I cannot support dishonesty in any form (except for goo things like surprise parties).

        But yes, this is exactly why the students you get in your college classes write like 7th graders. The grade inflation is part of it too.

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