Letters to the Editor

Parental Involvement: Does It Really Matter?

5fdd5fb9e5ee3dccb7bb_teague.jpg
5fdd5fb9e5ee3dccb7bb_teague.jpg

 

 I've met with parents who wanted to know if being active in their children's educational endeavors was important. They wanted me to give them some hard facts: "When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more." That's the conclusion of a recent report from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. The report, a synthesis of research on parent involvement over the past decade, goes on to find that, regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:

  • Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs;
  • Be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits;
  • Attend school regularly;
  • Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school; and
  • Graduate and go on to post secondary education.

But if parents have a central role in influencing their children's progress in school, research has shown that schools in turn have an important part to play in determining levels of parent involvement. Working to include parents is particularly important as students grow older, and in schools with high concentrations of poor and minority students.

Sign Up for E-News

Data from the 2000 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that, nationally, 90 percent of 4th graders were in schools where a school official reported that more than half of parents participated in parent-teacher conferences. Among 8th graders, though, that proportion dropped to 57 percent.

A report from the U.S. Department of Education cites several reasons for the decline in involvement as children grow older. Parents of middle schoolers often report feeling that children should do homework alone, and that the parents shouldn't try to help if they're not experts in the subject. The structure of many middle schools can also deter parents. Middle schools are larger and more impersonal than most elementary schools, and students may receive instruction from several teachers, meaning parents no longer have one contact in the school who knows their child well.

But research also shows there are ways middle schools can overcome such impediments. Organizing a middle school so that at least one person knows each child well, keeping a "parent room" in the building, and sponsoring parent-to-parent communication and events are key parts of an effective parent-involvement program in the middle grades.

Data also indicate that parent involvement can vary by poverty concentration and minority enrollment in the school. The 2000 NAEP survey found that 73 percent of white 4th graders were in schools in which lack of parent involvement was deemed not to be a problem, or to be only a minor problem. The same could be said for only 38 percent of black 4th graders, however, and 48 percent of Hispanic 4th graders. Efforts to recruit poor or non-English-speaking parents can include a bilingual hot line, transportation to the school for the parent, translation services, or child care.

 
Among poor students, defined as those eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program, 42 percent of 4th graders were in schools where lack of parent involvement was not a problem or was only a minor problem. Of their better-off peers, 72 percent were in such schools.According to the National Network of Partnership Schools, for parent involvement to flourish, it must be meaningfully integrated into a school's programs and community. The network developed a framework of six types of parent involvement that schools can use to guide their efforts. It says schools can:
  • Help families with parenting and child-rearing skills;
  • Communicate with families about school programs and student progress and needs;
  • Work to improve recruitment, training, and schedules to involve families as volunteers in school activities;
  • Encourage families to be involved in learning activities at home;
  • Include parents as participants in important school decisions; and
  • Coordinate with businesses and agencies to provide resources and services for families, students, and the community.
So, there you have it, parental involvement is important and it is a big issue. I do have a plethora of information on this subject. I invite parents to contact me at anytime to discuss matters concerning parental involvement or advocacy.

Sincerely,
 
Corey L.Teague
 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 17, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Cancer Center Resource Room, Belleville

Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease Support ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7611ce284a8c86d65b64_37d34f9a-c5cd-4fb1-8bf8-b5b7319cb94e

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair

Education

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

July 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...