Parents Don’t Matter!

Headline from the LA Times: Parents’ Involvement Not Key To Student Progress, Study Finds.
Another conventional wisdom exposed as myth?

Hmm. GGW needs to digest the study itself rather than the newspaper summary (Of all we’ve learned from Kausfiles, #1 is Beware the LAT). Nonpartisan? Check. Solid researchers? GGW is a fan of co-author and Stanford smartie Michael Kirst. Solid design? They studied 257 public elementary schools with low-income populations, discarding charters and outlier (really bad) schools.

Most Effective

• Tying classroom instruction to state standards in academic subjects

• Ensuring enough textbooks and other teaching aids

• Using test data to analyze instructional strengths and weaknesses

• Making student achievement a top priority

Less Effective

• Enforcing high student behavior standards

• Encouraging teacher collaboration and professional development

• Involved and supportive parents

Factors Not Studied

• Offering halal chicken nuggets

– Guest blogger Goldstein Gone Wild

P.S. Beware the LA Times indeed. Email from a reader about the study:

FWIW, the EdSource study most assuredly did NOT conclude that parental involvement wasn’t important. In fact, the study showed that parental involvement was positively correlated with API achievement. However, the study did conclude that the four practices described in the story had a far greater impact on student achievement. In summary, it is correct to say that a standards-based curriculum, use of assessment data, etc, is far more strongly correlated with high performance than is parental involvement. However, it is not correct to say that parental involvement is not important.

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