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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Duncan: Let's find better ways to get parents involved

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan focused on parental involvement this week, in a speech where he proposing doubling the amount of Title I money set aside to boost family engagement. Here's some of what he had to say:

I have an eight year-old daughter and a six year-old son. And if I walk into a school and it feels good enough for my children, then I think it's a good school. If it's not good enough for my children, then it's a school that needs some work. In education, for far too long, we have created schools that are good enough for somebody else's children but not our own ...

Schools should be places that honor and respect families, that meet parents on their own terms—even if it means teachers giving out their cell phone numbers to field questions at night and calling back the single mom who missed her parent-teacher conference because she was at work. Unfortunately, that mutual support and engagement is still missing from too many schools ...

It is well-documented--and plain common sense--that parental involvement in a child's education boosts student learning and improves both behavior and attendance. We know that children with parents who are engaged in their education are less likely to drop out. There is surprisingly little research, however, to show what works and doesn't work in family engagement programs to accelerate student learning ...

Read the whole speech here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:01am]


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