"To the 3,883 Lexington, KY Public School teens polled by the Youth News Team — an intrepid group of local students and parents seeking to amplify the voices of young people in education policy discussions — the answer is obvious: 69 percent of them said they believe that most high school students do not need their parents to help them do well in school. But although it may not be readily apparent to the students themselves, a large body of evidence suggests that parent involvement can improve high school achievement and behavior and directly influence a student’s grades. So what’s to explain this disconnect between high school students’ perceptions and the research? Consider some survey highlights: 69% of students with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher (equivalent to a B-plus) report having parents who regularly help them select classes; Students with GPAs of at least 3.5 are nearly twice as likely to report having parents who sometimes or frequently attend school events as students with GPAs below 2.0 (equivalent to a C); and 61% of students with GPAs over 3.5 report sitting down with their families three or more times per week for dinner. The sense that there is an important, though difficult-to-define place for parents in high schools was underscored poignantly by the comment that students want parents to be involved, not too involved. One senior offered encouraging advice for parents navigating their relationships with adolescents, "Be a little nosey…Don’t feel bad for asking questions, because it feels good to know someone cares."" Read the original article.
"Children of pushy parents are more likely to excel in high school, graduate from college and grow into young adults who are happier with their lives and more prosperous in their careers. The findings of the latest survey of Michigan’s culture of education blow to bits the philosophy of laissez-faire child-rearing that’s the hallmark of Baby Boomer parents, writes Nolan Finley. The prevailing attitude is that children should be nudged, not pushed; nurtured, not nagged; encouraged to find their own way in an environment of low pressure and low expectations. But that doesn’t produce nearly the results as a firm hand on the shoulder and the parental command of, "Go this way." Few children are getting that sort of direction from their parents, according to the Your Child survey of Michigan residents aged 18-30, conducted by EPIC-MRA. Only 30 percent of the young adults say their parents insisted on them going to college. Young adults who are most content with both life and work are the ones whose parents and teachers helped them to set goals. Few got that kind of help, however. Many indicated they trudged through high school without a care and without a clue. They couldn’t make the connection between their classes and their future. Parents didn’t talk to them enough about the value of education, the survey found, didn’t start the conversation about college early enough and weren’t forceful enough in discussing best choices." Read the original story.
"In most districts, parent participation in conferences drops off significantly in middle school and high school. In this teacher’s rural district, about 85 percent of kindergarten parents signed up for the spring conferences, but only a handful of 12th-grade parents attended — mostly to discuss their kids’ college plans. Even when parents show up, reports Susan Black, they’re not necessarily satisfied. In a study by Boston’s family literacy project, several parents said schools should make meetings longer, ensure privacy, provide options for attending during the day or in the evening, and hold conferences more than twice a year. Why do some parents, particularly those with children in the upper grades, avoid parent-teacher conferences? Shelley Billig of RMC Research Corp. gives three reasons: (1) Middle schools often put less effort than elementary schools into forging strong school-family partnerships; (2) Communication at the middle level tends to be one-way, mainly from principals and teachers to parents and often dealing with students’ poor academic progress and discipline problems; and (3) Middle school students often discourage their parents from attending parent-teacher conferences and from being visibly involved in school activities. Economic and social realities are also to blame in some single parent families and with non-English speaking parents." Read the full article on ASBJ’s website.