Over on WrightsLaw, Sue Whitney (one of the folks affiliated with Pete and Pam Wright) use this headline for a story: “Parent Volunteers are NOT a Substitute for Trained Teachers: New DOE Regulations Released.” Ms. Whitney’s got the right idea in that headline, but I’d like to shade it just a bit.
Please permit me to amplify. Parent volunteers are not a substitute for trained teachers, but trained teachers are not a substitute for people using scientifically validated instructional programs faithfully. So, if I was given a choice between a parent volunteer who, with fidelity to the training, is implementing a good curriculum and a teacher who’s doing the hit-or-miss method (such as apparently passes for training in reading instruction in many of the US teacher education colleges), I’d go for the parent volunteer.
Link to Ms. Whitney’s brief piece.