A recent interaction in an online community with which I’m involved made me realize just how difficult it is to change the way we think. This is a group of folks who grew up in the ’60s intent on changing the world and doing everything we could to not turn into our parents.
“I think it’s pretty impressive how many parents were active in the school’s
activities back then,” I commented, noting that research from James Heckman and John Medina link parental involvement directly to school success.
An elementary school teacher in Illinois added, “It is so different now—our PTO, with a school of 650+ preK-2nd grade, often only has a handful of parents at the meetings.”
“You’re kidding, right?” came a response. “You don’t think that having workplace responsibilities, working 50-60 hours a week, being dead tired and having no free time has anything to do with parental involvement?”
But a voice of reason summed it all up: “The freedom to devote time must matter, I’m sure, but my impression is that parents’ esteem for education, not their daily schedules, is what drives kids and schools to excel.”
You are so right, Jon.