Districts have made attempts to align their curriculum from kindergarten to grade 12 for years. Common Core standards and state content standards before them furthered this idea. I reflected on this idea recently with a colleague and we had an epiphany. It shouldn't be K-12 alignment, it should be H-12 alignment. The "H" stands for home. The inclusion of parents has been the missing link in curricular alignment. It has been pointed out recently by a great video produced by NBC that students who come to school behind their classmates fall further behind every year especially during the summer. Why have we never seriously addressed this?
There are no easy solutions, but schools must make a revolutionary effort to bring parents into the schools, not just in elementary, but through student's senior year. It seems parent involvement wanes as students work their way through school. Parent-teacher conferences twice a year is a paltry attempt to involve parents in their student's education. Parents need to be in the school, have knowledge of and participate in learning activities, and also be held accountable to their student's education. Teachers are held to the highest order of accountability for a student they have for an hour each day. Isn't there some kind of incentive we could offer parents? Clearly the incentive of a better education is not enough. What about free textbook rental? What about a tax credit? If we want to revolutionize American education and compete in a global world, education must begin and be sustained at home.