Parental Involvement in Education: Fact and Fiction

Harrison Blackmond:

I have attended dozens of legislative hearings, community meetings, and board meetings where the problems related to public education are discussed. Not to mention the numerous one-on-one conversations I’ve had with adults who are usually middle or upper class, where the subject of parental involvement in children’s education is raised as a major factor contributing to the ills of public education. Educators who work in urban areas are quick to point out how negligent their students’ parents are and are eager to recite anecdotes to illustrate their case. What is not said, but clearly implied is this: if the parents of these children in low-performing schools would do their jobs as parents, these children would not be failing.
Every time I hear someone raise the issue of parental involvement, I can’t help but think of the parents in the latest “education” movies: The Lottery and Waiting for Superman. What good did “parental involvement” do for their children that didn’t get accepted into a charter school? If they were not lucky enough to have their number called, they were still stuck in bad schools with educators who, for the most part, had given up on them. What good did “parental involvement” do for them?