Parental involvement no assurance of outcomes

A recent study of parental involvement in Mexican schools found no evidence of improved student performance (“When parents get involved in schools, kids did no better,” The Hechinger Report, Nov. 30).  The results served as a cautionary tale for researchers who had not expected the outcomes.

There is nothing magical about parental involvement.  It pays off only when such programs are carefully designed.  In Mexico, trust between parents and teachers eroded because teachers and parents were not treated as equal partners. The same thing is taking place in this country when the issue is whether schools should be reopened. 

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4 Replies to “Parental involvement no assurance of outcomes”

  1. The critical parental involvement is during birth through kindergarten. Good parenting — particularly good medical care, good nutrition, and high-quantity/high-quality adult-child verbal interaction — during these years makes it much more likely that the child will start kindergarten with the physical and mental abilities needed to successfully do academic work (so “school” is rewarding rather than frustrating).


  2. Labor Lawyer: Yes, those are important years because so much depends on what occurs before kindergarten. Unfortunately, not all parents are ready to be parents to their newborn.


  3. Many parents are not ready, but my concern would go further — that is, you can be prepared to love and physically care for a child but not know the most effective ways to “parent” in order to fully develop the child’s mental capacities. In other words, it’s not just the low-income unwed mothers, but a good chunk of the married working-class and even middle-class parents who just do not know how to effectively “parent” — usually because they themselves as children grew up in a family where their parents did not know how to effectively parent.


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