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Mich. Education Official: Educators, Not Parents Know What's Best for Kids' Education

"[Educators] are the people who know best about how to serve children..."

Debbie Squires

Editor's note: we are aware that the videos of the testimony have been removed. Stay tuned for a follow-up story regarding this development.

It's a comment that's causing quite the controversy in Michigan and forcing the question: Who knows whats' best for a child's education?

During a Michigan House Education Committee hearing earlier this month, Debbie Squires, director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle Schools Principals Association, told members that while parents may have have the best intentions, they may not know what's best for their children's education.

"[Educators] are the people who know best about how to serve children, that's not necessarily true of an individual resident," Squires said. "I'm not saying they don't want the best for their children, but they may not know what actually is best from an education standpoint."

That prompted a retort from Chairman Thomas McMillin: "Wow, parents don't know what's best for their child..."

Squires responded by saying again that parents might want what's best for their children, but might not have the capability to know.

Here are Squires comments, which came during a discussion about a new school choice program that would allow more parents to send their kids to charter schools, especially those online:

Afterward, MLive's Dave Murray caught up with McMillin, who was still upset about the exchange.

"I'm surprised I didn't lose it when she said that," McMillin told Murray. "They think they know what's better for children than their own parents, and that's what I find upsetting."

Squires's comment, however, might be defensible if viewed on a macro level. She did seem to be initially referring to parent involvement in district decision, hence her reference to voting for appropriate school board members. But that might be too generous considering her later clarifications.

Still, not everyone is upset. One MLive reader believes educators are experts in their field and should be treated as such:

“Really, he is outraged at that statement? That statement is, in the vast majority of cases, absolutely true. So when Mr. McMillin's kids are sick, does he treat them himself, or go to a doctor? How about when his car breaks down, does he take it to a mechanic?

"This is why the inner city schools, not the districts like he resides in, are in so much trouble, the parents of many of these kids don't know how to take care of themselves, let alone their children.”

What do you think? Is Squires way off base? Or, did she choose poor words but is correct on a macro level?

(H/T: Fox Nation)

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