“UK Study: Parents, Not Teachers, Key to Education”

A report on a new British study begins this way:

A study by the Royal Economic Society, to be presented this week, finds that parental effect on test results is five times that of teachers’ influence.

I haven’t gotten a chance to read the study yet, but plenty of other studies have found that non-school factors control over two-thirds of student academic outcomes.  I’m assuming that this study includes socio-economic issues under “parental effect,” since those are major issues.  If it doesn’t, that raises big questions about the study’s accuracy.  But clearly parents have a huge effect either way….

“Parents of Teens: You Can Influence Your Kids About School”

Parents of Teens: You Can Influence Your Kids About School is the headline of the newest post at Ed Week’s K-12 Parents and the Public blog.

Here’s how it begins:

Many parents believe that they have lost the “influence game” when their children become teenagers. They think their teens’ peers hold more sway than they do about everything.

In fact, researchers have found that parents—and teachers—still “trump” other teens when it comes to influencing their children about certain aspects of school engagement.

It’s worth reading….

Mutual Assured Destruction Is Not A Good Political Strategy For School Funding

Regular readers know that I support, and have a great deal of respect for, the PTA. However, I’ve previously written about what I believe to be a critical strategic mistake they are making in supporting a tax initiative here in California that is different from the one proposed by Governor Brown (see Great Parent Engagement Idea — Not So Good Execution).

Unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse.

The multimillionaire (billionaire?) the PTA has hitched their wagon to has announced that not only is she continuing the campaign for her initiative, but it appears she may start an advertising campaign attacking the governor’s plan — supported by both major teacher’s unions — for not supporting education enough.

Mutual Assured Destruction might have worked for nuclear deterrence, but I doubt that it will result in increased funding for schools. The PTA supported plan is losing in the polls, while the Governor’s plan is substantially ahead. If the PTA’s effort results in the Governor’s plan going down to defeat, their credibility as an effective political force that has good political judgment will be in tatters.

I hope they cut their financial benefactor loose and, instead, make a deal with the Governor.


This Week’s Parent Teacher Chat On Twitter

Guest Post by Joe Mazza:

You just got back from an amazing professional development or conference. Now what? How do you share all that new learning with your parent population? Won’t you need their support in moving the school forward?

In the best interests of transparency and keeping our school parents up on the latest research-based practices happening around the world, committing to sharing our new knowledge with them becomes a no-brainer.

This Wednesday, 3/28 at 9PM EST / 6 PST, we’ll discuss ideas on who to go about this from the parents’ and teachers’ lens. For more information, please visit Joe Mazza’s eFACE Today Blog. #PTchat is a weekly chat where parents and teachers around the world come together using the hashtag #PTchat. The goal behind #PTchat is to encourage a transparent and collaborative dialogue between parents and educators. All #PTchats are archived here.

“Parents Agree – Better Assessments, Less High-Stakes Testing”

Parents Agree – Better Assessments, Less High-Stakes Testing is an article reporting on a new survey released last week.

Here’s an excerpt:

After conducting online surveys of more than 1,000 respondents, NWEA found that these stakeholders essentially want the same thing. Large majorities say that, although year-end tests might provide some sort of useful snapshot, they strongly prefer more timely formative assessments to track student progress and provide educators with the flexibility to adjust their instruction during the school year…..

….According to the survey, it is the types of formative assessments Vega identifies, such as quizzes, portfolios, homework and end-of-unit tests that provide timely data about individual student growth and achievement. Respondents cited these types of assessments as providing educators with the necessary information to pace the instruction and ensure students learn fundamental skills.

The article, from NEA Today, has a good chart showing some of the survey’s results.

My Most Popular Posts On Parent Engagement Over The Past Six Months

I periodically post a list of my most popular posts on parent engagement.

It’s that time again.

And, if you’re interested, I also periodically post a list of my best posts on parent engagement (which include “The Best…” lists), too.

Here are My Most Popular Posts On Parent Engagement Over The Past Six Months:

1. The Best Sources Of Parent Engagement Advice For Teachers

2. The Best Resources On Parent/Teacher Conferences

3. The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas

4. The Best Ideas On How Parents Can Help Their Kids Succeed Academically

5. Good Middle School Journal Article On Parent Involvement

6. The Best Examples Of Parent Engagement Through Community Organizing

7. Idaho schools tie merit pay to parent involvement

8. The Best Research Available On Parent Engagement

9. The NY Times’ Tom Friedman On Parent Involvement

10. The Best Resources For Learning About Teacher Home Visits

11. Parent Trigger R.I.P.

12. Very Accessible Review Of Parent Involvement Engagement Research

13. Important Report On Parent Engagement Released Today

14. The Best Overviews Of Parent Engagement

15. A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Parent Engagement — 2011

16. Jeez, What Was Ron Clark Thinking?

17. My Best Posts, Articles & Interviews On Parent Engagement

18. The Best Reasons Why Parents Should Be Looked At As Allies & Not Targets Of Blame

“A Parent’s Guide to 21st-Century Learning”

A Parent’s Guide to 21st-Century Learning is another great downloadable guide from Edutopia.

Here is how they describe it:

Discover the tools and techniques today’s teachers and classrooms are using to prepare students for tomorrow — and how you can get involved.

What should collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking look like in a modern classroom? How can parents help educators accomplish their goals? We hope this guide helps bring more parents into the conversation about improving education.

“Ways To Build Trust Between Parents & Teachers — Part One”

I’ve just posted Part One in a three part series on parent engagement over at Education Week Teacher.

This first piece, Ways To Build Trust Between Parents & Teachers — Part One, includes guest responses from the President of the National PTA and from the Executive Director of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project.

Your comments are welcome — there or here.