Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Parental Involvement

Nicole Brouder of the Seattle Times has a followup column, I found from Sound Politics, that talks about the response she got from those defending the Seattle School District from a previous column that was critical of the district.

The following quote is all you need to know about how to improve schools:

Kathleen Bose told me how she wanted to put her daughter in a Catholic school in Magnolia, but it was full.

"I wasn't happy about it," Bose wrote, "but I enrolled her at Catharine Blaine and got involved in the school."

Bose, a graduate of West Seattle High, was in one of the first waves of parents "who came into the school and began to turn it around. It wasn't easy, but we rolled up our sleeves and just did it."

The school is lucky to have her.

Here is the story about how I came to discover parental involvement as the key to a good education. I was driving home to Seattle from my wife's hometown of Eugene Oregon, the cradle of wacky liberalism, and I simply asked my wife, who always votes the way her union tells her to vote, if she could have a classroom full of kids with one characteristic, any one, what would it be. Without blinking she answered Mormon. I found this odd as she is not religious at all, baptized Catholic but does not practice. I asked why Mormon and she said she has never had a problem with a Mormon kid and the reason was both parents are always involved. The parents make sure the kids does his/her homework, makes sure the kid gets to school each and every day, they come to the parent teacher conferences, etc., etc. I then asked what one characteristic would she not want in a student and the answer was Jehovah's Witness. She claims she has never had one that was not totally screwed up. So I guess religion is not the underlying factor. She then went on to explain that any teacher that is being honest will tell you, the most important factor in educating a student is parental involvement. Without parental involvement, the student is going to struggle.

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