Parent Involvement in Education Education today is one of the more important aspects of life. It is harder to survive in the growing economy without the aid of a good job, which requires education and training. That is why it is so important to get a good education. To do so it is vital that parents are involved. Students perform better and are more motivated in school when they have parents who are involved in their children s education and over the years the public has come to realize the need for parental support and numerous efforts have been made to expand the ways in which parents are involved.

With the involvement of parents in education students are able to excel to their greatest ability. In order for the parents to get involved there must be a good parent and teacher relationship, PTAs, a good community, state funding programs, and of course a good relationship between the parent and child. To help create parent involvement it is essential create a strong parent-teacher relationship. Without the parents trusting the teachers and visa versa, it becomes more difficult to create a good strong relationship. However, problems in creating a good relationship aren t always the parents fault. Parent-involvement expert Dorothy Rich says that "Many teachers never had a sense that parental involvement goes along with the job.

Not only must they expect parents to be involved, but teachers need to understand that communication with parents must be a two-way street" (Pape, 49). One way to lose communication between parents and teachers is for the teachers to speak in jargon. Parents want to know what is happening in the classroom, what the teachers goal s and objectives are, and most importantly, how the child is doing rather than something that parent s don t understand. There are a number of different ways to strengthen that relationship. One way is for the teacher to visit the parents at home Although this may seem time consuming, it will give teachers a chance to see what the home life is like (Hickman, 3).

This meeting is on the "parents turf" therefore it will make uncomfortable parents feel as if they have the upper hand (Pape, 3). An easier way to get a good relationship between parents and teachers is phone calls. They are less time consuming, yet they still allow the parents and teachers to be involved together in the decision making of the child s education. Once a good parent-teacher relationship has been formed, parents will be more willing to get involved in school activities such as the PTA.

Parent Teacher Organizations have been created to help teachers and parents make decisions together. " We know from three decades of research that children with involved parents do better in school and are more successful in life, says National PTA President Joan Dykstra. Our organization is taking the much-needed step of identifying what factors are effective components of consistent, high-quality parent involvement programs. " (PTA, 16) Joan along with the U. S. National PTA has created six standards that can help get parents involved: 1) two-way communication between home and school; 2) promoting and supporting parenting skills; 3) active participation of parents in student learning; 4) parents helping as volunteer partners in schools; 5) parents helping as full partners in school decisions that affect children and families; 6) outreach to the community for resources to strengthen school.

(PTA, 17) PTAs help the school with decisions on text books, money issues, ordering supplies and various other things that teachers and other staff members are too busy for. Along with the PTA there are various other programs that have been created at the state and local level. At the national level a program has been established to develop effective family-school partnerships in schools across the nation. It is known as the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE). The NCPIE believes that with parents and schools sharing in decision-making, and collaborating in children s learning, parents can feel more involved in the education process. Not only does it benefit the parents but the children do better in school, and the schools improve as well.

In 1998 a survey was taken by the U. S. Department of Education. The survey had to do with Family Involvement in Education. "Among its key findings are these: + 38% of parents have never been invited to observe their child s classes while in session.

+ 75% of parents receive a school newsletter. However, fewer that one in four have school news made available via higher-technology options, such as school websites or cable TV. + 79% of parents would pay a fee for their child to attend an after-school program that would help the child progress. + Schools that work well with families have improved teacher morale and higher ratings of teachers by parents." (Pape, 47-48). These statistics show that parents do care for their children s education and that schools are putting in effort to include the parents. In Missouri, the State Department of education has been planning several programs to increase the level of parent involvement.

One program is the "Parents as Teachers" program. This is designed to help train parents to teach their own children skills that can be taught at home. These skills vary from being creative to learning to get along with other children. Among other states mandating parental involvement are Illinois, Tennessee, Minnesota, Florida, and California.

California has ordered "comprehensive programs of parent involvement require schools to involve parents at all grade levels in a variety of roles. These programs should be designed to: (a) help parents develop skills and foster conditions at home that support learning, (b) provide parents with the knowledge of techniques designed to assist children in learning at home, (c) promote clear two-way communication between the school and the family to the school programs and children s progress, (d) support parents as decision makers and develop their leadership in governance, advisory, and advocacy role (Hickman, 3)." With all the help that has come through from the state programs, schools, teachers, and of course parents, there has been a very positive effect that has shown through on the children of today. Parents have become more involved in school and because of that the children will have an easier time learning and developing. However, many people, including parents, believe that children do not need parental involvement once they are in high school. This may be because teenagers often discourage their parents from becoming involved. Parents are also unsure how to help and many high schools don t make parental involvement a high priority.

However, studies show that students who have parents that remain involved throughout high school are much more likely to complete college. These students are then three times more likely to complete a bachelor s degree than children of parents who were not involved in high school (web 3). Children have the capacity to excel to great heights. "We know that children whose parents are participating in their schooling have better attendance, have more positive attitudes toward school, and achieve at higher level. We believe that it is the responsibility of the school to reach out to families and build the bridge that will result in the kind of partnership that makes a difference for the kids (PTA, 17). That bridge will be what makes your child grow into the best type of person around, not just the smartest.

Parents are also there to show their children that they do have to ability to do so. That is why it is so important to have parents to help with whatever need be, not just school, but life. It is essential for parents to become and stay involved in their children s education. It has been shown that when parent s are involved in education the children perform better in school, they are less likely to drop out, and they are more likely to graduate from a 4 year university. Throughout education there have been many milestones and parent involvement is one of them. Although there are many parents who are still not involved in their child s education, in the future they will realize that the benefits are worth the time and effort.

"Parents are a child s first and perhaps most important teachers. They teach their children attitudes, habits, and values that help shape their character and remain with them throughout life." The World Book Encyclopedia Works Cited Coleman, Mick and Charlotte Walling's. "Connecting Families and Classrooms Using Family Involvement." Childhood Education. Summer 2000: 209-220.

Hickey, Mary C. "The Busy Woman s Guide to Participating in Your Child s School." Ladies Home Journal. October 2000: 18-19. Hickman, Catherine Wehlburg. "The Future of High School Success: The Importance of Parent Involvement in Programs. [Online] Available web February 2000.

Pape, Barbara. "Involving Parents Lets Students and Teachers win." Education Digest. February 1999: 47-52. Rose, Mary C. "Reaching Every Parent." Instructor.

October 2000: 11-14. -- -- "Education." The World Book Encyclopedia. 2000 ed: 86-92. -- -- The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education. [Online] Available web -- - "PTA Issues Standards for Parent Involvement in Education." Reading Today. April/May 1997: 16-17.

-- -- "Parent Organizations Can Help." NEA Today. October 1997: 6-7.