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Parent Involvement -- The Data

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If you're not a data wonk, feel free to skip right over this blog post, but this information certainly at least deserves a highlight here. The federal government is out with a comprehensive study of parent involvement habits of K-12 parents nationwide.

Complete parent involvement study is here.

Highlights:

  • About 54 percent of students in grades K through 12 had parents who reported receiving notes or email from the school specifically about their child; 91 percent had parents who reported receiving newsletters, memos, or notices addressed to all parents; and 49 percent had parents who reported that the school had contacted them by telephone.

  • A higher percentage of students in nonreligious private schools (66 percent) had parents who reported that their children's school communicated with them via notes or e-mails compared to students in other types of schools (assigned public: 53 percent; chosen public: 56 percent).

  • Ninety-two percent of students in grades K through 12 had parents who reported receiving any information from the school on the student's performance; 83 percent had parents who received any information about how to help with homework; 75 percent had parents who received any information about why the student was placed in particular groups or classes; and 86 percent had parents who received any information about the parents' expected role at the student's school.

  • Eighty-nine percent of students in grades K through 12 had parents who reported that an adult member of the household had attended a general school or a parent-teacher organization or association (PTO/PTA) meeting since the beginning of the school year (table 3). Seventy-eight percent had parents who attended a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference; 74 percent had parents who attended a school or class event; 46 percent had parents who volunteered or served on a school committee; and 65 percent had parents who participated in school fundraising.

  • A lower percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 had parents who reported attending a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference (61 percent) than students in grades K through 2 (90 percent), 3 through 5 (92 percent), and 6 through 8 (76 percent).

  • Fifty-nine percent of students in grades K through 12 had parents who were "very satisfied" with their child's school; 64 percent had parents who were very satisfied with their child's teachers that year; 63 percent had parents who were very satisfied with the school's academic standards; 62 percent had parents who were very satisfied with the school's order and discipline; and 55 percent had parents who were very satisfied with the school's parent-staff interactions (table 4). In addition, 75 percent had parents who reported that the amount of homework assigned was "about right."

Will be good to benchmark this and see how these trends move. Of course, this objective data needs to be colored with the trickier subjective measures of the quality and effectiveness of that involvement. One thing to attend a parent-teacher conference (which is certainly good); another to really get into an effective partnership with your child's teacher.
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