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One Dream, Two Realities - Perspective of Parents on America’s High Schools

The role of parents in their children's education is the focus of One Dream, Two Realities: Perspective of Parents on America’s High Schools, an October 2008 report from Civic Enterprises. Researchers asked a nationally representative sample of high school students’ parents to offer their suggestions on how to better involve them in their teenagers’ education.

Many of the parents’ suggestions were tempered by whether their children attended high-, middle-, or low-performing high schools.  For example, less than one-fifth of parents with students in low-performing schools, but half of those with students in high-performing schools, said the schools did a very good job in helping their children prepare for college or for a good job. 

Parents also generated a set of common suggestions that were independent of the performance of the schools their teenagers attended.  The majority  recommended that high schools: 

  1. Promptly notify parents if their teenagers are having academic or other problems
  2. Let parents know what their child needs to be successful as they transition from middle to high school
  3. Provide parents with more information about graduation and college admission requirements
  4. Assign each high school student a faculty advisor who monitors the student’s performance and maintains contact with parents.

See One Dream, Two Realities (PDF, 6 MB, 23pp), available from Civic Enterprises.