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Are YOU the Key to Closing Achievement Gaps?

Research shows parental involvement is critical to helping students succeed academically


By Kevin Hart

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 -- There’s an old saying that mom and dad are their children’s first teachers – and a growing body of research suggests that parental involvement is the key to reducing achievement gaps and helping students succeed academically.

From November 15-21, schools across America are celebrating NEA’s American Education Week, which has a different theme each day designed to recognize all the stakeholders who contribute to making public schools great. Today is Parents Day, and schools in every state are inviting parents into the classroom for a hands-on experience of what the day is like for their child.

When schools and parents interact, it can pay large, lasting dividends for students. Ongoing research shows that parental involvement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores confidence among parents in their children's education.

According to the National Coalition of Parental Involvement in Education, students with involved parents are also more likely to enroll in accelerated programs and attend college. In fact, this holds true regardless of a family’s income or the parents’ education levels.

NEA has always believed that collaboration between schools and parents is critical to ensuring all children have the opportunity to succeed academically. NEA makes a variety of resources available, in English and Spanish, to show parents how to help their children enjoy more success in school.

Parents can download free literature on topics such as improving science literacy, encouraging reading, and even smoothing the transition from pre-K or home to kindergarten.


RELATED LINKS

American Education Week Web site