Positive trends in parent involvement – according to Census data

Some good news this Friday… an article in Education Week today, “Census:  Parents Reading More With Their Children”, highlights that low-income parents are more involved with their young children than they were a decade ago.  Census data show that young children are spending more time with their parents, reading, playing, eating dinner, etc. and, this of course, research shows translates to greater academic success and outcomes.  Also refreshing was the finding that more parents reported that they wanted and expected their child to graduate from high school and even college.  “While fewer than half of low-income parents in 1998 expected their children to graduate from college, 54 percent of that group expected their children to earn a college degree in 2009.”  Very encouraging news.

I have to admit I’ve struggled with the notion that schools should be responsible for facilitating parent involvement and, in a way, “educate” parents.  I’ve always thought schools have enough to do – educate and inspire children – and to do that well, it takes a lot.  However, these findings coupled with some recent experiences and conversations (perhaps largely due to the fact that I’m now a parent of a child in school) have helped me see that it is actually quite easy for schools to model behaviors and informally “train” parents.  It is a natural extension of their function and can be done with minimal resources.  It’s a beautiful win-win-win, isn’t it?


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