I will add to Sue's description that of the language minority parent who may
additionally have a language barrier to contend with, and for the migrant parent
- whose presence outside the working fields in any
given community may be not completely welcome -- there are a few large
"excuses." The <blanket> statement that schools make many accommodations
for these situations unfortunately ends up being much more like a <net>
statement, i.e., many holes through which parent interest and desired
involvement is allowed to drop.
I am an ESL university educator who spent nine years in Japan with
my elementary-age daughters in Japanese public schools. Although English
was the home language, while in Japan they learned to read and write
English only at several grade levels below their actual placement. Upon
return to the American public school system, the school personnel in two
states - California and Iowa - presented many obstacles to obtaining the
necessary academic second languge instruction and appropriate placement in
content area classes for my daughters.
I figure that if a parent who well knows the system has difficulty,
the success rate of an illiterate non-English speaking parent would be even
less. Much more could be added to this topic, but will restrain myself
because I believe the point is clear.
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