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Published in Print: November 11, 1998, as Getting parents involved

Getting parents involved

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In an era when states and districts are adopting tougher curricula, many educators believe the day-to-day support students receive from their parents is critical to their success in school. Yet parents often become less involved in homework and school activities when their children enter high school. A study supported by the Consortium on Chicago School Research found that parents of high school freshmen want to get more involved in their children's education, but that administrators and teachers often fail to create an environment where parents feel welcome.

The research brief, the second in a series by the Student Life in High Schools Project at the University of Chicago, draws information from surveys last year of dozens of parents of freshmen, 1,000 8th and 9th grade teachers, and more than 30,000 students in Chicago's public high schools.

Authors Melissa Roderick and Susan Stone conclude that parent involvement is an important element in raising achievement, but that high schools must offer more information and resources to help parents.

Some signs suggest that schools are beginning to address the issue, the brief says. In the three years since the last survey, more teachers and parents reported that communication between school and home had improved and that their schools had begun to support parent involvement.

--KATHLEEN KENNEDY MANZO

Vol. 18, Issue 11, Page 28

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