The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Parent involvement is the key

Here is a great article, forwarded to me by Mr. Duncan, Principal at Jefferson Elementary in Warsaw Schools. One of his teachers tipped him off about it. Here is an excerpt:

A 1994 report by Anne Henderson and Nancy Berla, for example, compiled results of 66 studies and concluded that family involvement was the biggest predictor of student achievement, and that family involvement not only helped students, it also improved teacher morale, helped teachers earn higher ratings from students, and bolstered the reputation of the school in the community.

Whoa. It's the biggest predictor. In other words, a kid from a supportive family in a mediocre school will fare better than a kid with an indifferent family at a great school.


Anonymous said...

"The way I see it, if we're going to point the finger at teachers, then we're the first ones to blame if our kids aren't doing well in school. It's harsh, yes. But no one else will care this much, and no one else can possibly have the same influence."

YES!! What a great article!! Maybe we should call out "bad parenting" instead of consistently criticizing our teachers.

itsrich said...

Teachers can take your child to great heights. Parents, are you going to give your child and teach the support they need? The younger you start, the easier it is. The time to start is now. The time parents invest in their child’s education will pay dividends in their child’s future.

I wonder. Do you think the parents we are talking about even read this blog?

Anonymous said...

I teach, so of course I agree that parent involvement is helpful. However, I wonder if the correlation is not as strong as it is because of other reasons. Teachers and administrators treat parents differently based on the child and preconceived notions about that family.

It can't be fun to walk into the school and be confronted with your child's misbehavior and failures. On the other hand, it is quite pleasant to walk into the school and be told what a wonderful job your child is doing.

Therefore, struggling children may have parents that don't feel as welcome or comfortable in the school than the successful students' parents.

Which parent do you see seeking out more opportunities to become more involved and which do you see avoiding school issues? I am sure there is a stong relationship, I just question the cause and effect assumption that is being made.

If involvement predicts success then it is our job to promote involvement. I know at Syracuse a few years ago they began on that path by having evening PTO meetings. They also hosted several events that brought families to the school for nonacademic reasons. The very next year a new PTO president took over and back they went to the "it" crowd of parents having exclusive meetings in the morning(during the time that working mothers are at work). Boy, if PTO isn't an example of the haves letting the have-nots know that their help is not wanted or needed, I don't know what is. To exclude a whole group of parents (working) even teachers that happen to have children attending the school from meetings is not only disrespectful, but neglegent.

Anonymous said...

The previous post identifies two areas to comment upon. One, a competent teacher 'should' incorporate impartial treatment towards all parents regardless of their ethnicity, income status, physical address (lake, nonlake, which lake), etc. Thereby creating a welcoming environment and removing any barriers to involvement by parents.

Secondly, the PTO, I don't think, is the panacea of involvement. There are lots of opportunities, like showing up to conferences, making sure your child has their homework done, etc. But, I agree that there should be no discouragement of ANY needed parental involvement. Maybe the Syracuse PTO would consider encouraging a more egalitarian PTO experience??