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Charles Best founded at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years. He thought up during a[…]

Best thinks it is possible to break a vicious cycle that doesn’t value education.

Question: What is a parent’s role in a child’s education?

Charles Best: Well, just speaking from personal experience, I met with parents with my students who were as committed to their kid’s education as my parents were to mine. I also met with the few parents who, if they had $400 to spend, would first spend it on a North Face jackets for their kid, far and above getting them books and I had parents who thought that if it was raining that was proper reason for their kid to not go to the school that day, just because there was rain out. And it was in mix, for all of the kids whose parents were just as committed as mine were, it is that you really want to focus on whether the public school is providing, is doing them justice, is doing those kids and their parents justice. Then for the students whose parents would buy a North Face jackets before they would buy their kid a book. It does show the challenge, because in those situations public schooling can only do so much if the kid is going home to a place that doesn’t really value homework and education.

Question: Is it possible to break the cycle?

Charles Best: Yeah, I think there are really are some public schools, incredibly successful public schools that are inculcating a real educational ethic in their students. Kip schools would be just a shining example of schools where students aren't just given homework and taught imaginative ways, but they're really brought into a culture of education. So, if Kips any indication that there are times when the school can provide at least some of the educational ethic that every student needs if they're gonna go home and actually do their homework.


Recorded on: 1/29/08