Is Giving Cash to Parents Promoting ‘Involvement’?

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

Practically everyone acknowledges the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education ("Parents’ Role in Schools Earns Fresh Respect," April 30, 2008). But when state departments of education start “nurturing” parent-participation programs—and, in Maryland, even handing out cash awards to parents deemed exemplary—skepticism is in order.

Would the state powers that be reward parents who took activist roles in opposing state-approved fuzzy math or revisionist, multicultural approaches to teaching U.S. history? Would they hand a $1,000 check to a parent who insisted on an abstinence-only approach to sex education?

Many parents have gone to their local and state school officials with legitimate concerns about policies or practices only to be told, “Gosh, you’re the only parent who has ever complained about that!” Does officialdom really want parents involved unless they agree with the party line?

If state departments of education in Maryland or elsewhere sincerely value parental involvement, they ought to push for expanded parental choice among schools with differing approaches to education so that all needs and interests are accommodated. Consumer power will go a lot further than random $1,000 cookies for a favored few.

Robert Holland
Senior Fellow for Education Policy
Heartland Institute
Chicago, Ill.

Vol. 27, Issue 37, Page 26

Published in Print: May 14, 2008, as Is Giving Cash to Parents Promoting ‘Involvement’?
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >