Thursday, December 2, 2010

Parents and Education

There has been much talk recently about the role parents play in the academic success of their kids. JoanneJacobs has recently posted about this, and Geoffery Canada continues to call on families to step up for the good of their kids. For, it's pretty clear that regardless of changes made to schools, if the families are not buying in, the changes will not ensure success.

Thus, it's refreshing to see the approach taken by the inspiring leader of a long-struggling school in Denver. Principal Antonio Esquibel is exactly the type of leader needed in a school like Abraham Lincoln High School of the struggle Denver Public Schools. Reform efforts in Denver have begun to key in on the importance of parent buy-in. And when Esquibel can report that Parents' Night which used to draw fewer that 100 adults is now pulling in 1,500, we know he's on to something.

Of course, the argument has always come - but what if the parents simply don't step up? What about those kids? Are they destined for failure? While there's a lot of evidence for that, it is simply unacceptable to abandon them. Schools need to do everything they can to help kids succeed in spite of their home lives. But if the emphasis on academics begins in the home, it will be all the more likely the schools will succeed.