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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Why aren't more parents involved in their kids' education?



The St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP wants to know. And it hopes to ask parents themselves in focus group discussions.

It’s often said that “parents don’t do this, parents do that,” Martin Rainey, the NAACP’s education chairman, told the Gradebook. “My question now is, what have you done to ask the parents? What’s the issue? Why aren’t you (parents) involved? Nobody has asked them.”

Rainey said the answers are many. “There’s a large population (of parents) that want to do, but do not know how to do,” he said. Some are unfamiliar with the system, and can be overwhelmed by say, trying to find a good tutor. Some are confused by school jargon and edu-speak. Some are swamped by more pressing issues like housing and jobs. Some may not trust school systems that didn’t provide equal opportunity in the past (and, some would argue, still don’t).

The details on the focus groups haven’t been worked out yet, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, Rainey said if you have any constructive suggestions on beefing up parental involvement, you can e-mail him at

Ron Matus, State Education Reporter


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:34am]


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