Data and research make it clear: the earlier a parent gets involved in a child’s education, the more powerful the effects. Regardless of family income or background, students with more engaged parents do better in and out of the classroom. These students are 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;
- Avoid drugs and alcohol;
- Stay clear of violent behavior;
- Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school; and
- Graduate and go on to postsecondary education
Source: Parent Teacher Association; Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (2002)
Other data makes it clear that the earlier a parent gets involved in a child's educational process, the more powerful the effects. Consider:
-- Parents of high-achieving students set higher standards for their children's educational activities than parents of low-achieving students.
Source: Clark, R.M. (1990). Why Disadvantaged Children Succeed. Public Welfare (Spring): 17-23.
-- When schools encourage children to practice reading at home with parents, the children make significant gains in reading achievement, compared to those who only practice at school.
Source: Tizard, J.; Schofield, W.N.; & Hewison, J. (1982). Collaboration Between Teachers and Parents in Assisting Children's Reading.
-- The more parents participate in schooling, in a sustained way, at every level -- in advocacy, decision-making and oversight roles, as fund-raisers and boosters, as volunteers and as home teachers -- the better for student achievement.
Source: Williams, D.L. & Chavkin, N.F. (1989). Essential elements of strong parent involvement programs. Educational Leadership, 47, 18-20
There's a lot more data on local education available online from our partner, Palm Beach County Counts.
What did the research teach you?Share your thoughts below. Or submit an article offering your suggestions. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #ParentalInvolvement and on Facebook.