All Parents Have High Hopes: A Recap

At Bellwether, we spent last week talking about family engagement strategies and busting the myth that poor parents don’t invest in their kids’ education.

Just in time, new data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics reveals that parents across income brackets have high hopes for their kids, and that they match that expectation with action.

For context, here’s a recap of our conversation:

Day 1 // September 19

  • Justin Trinidad writes that limited English proficient parents are underserved but not complacent about their kids’ education
  • Kirsten Schmitz interviews classroom teacher Christian Martínez-Canchola and offers five ways teachers can engage multilingual families

Day 2 // September 20

  • Melissa Steel King writes about the assumption that parents are only engaged if they come to school events or volunteer

Day 3 // September 21

  • Marnie Kaplan argues that we can learn from the long history of including parent engagement in early childhood education
  • Lynne Graziano urges school leaders to ensure that requests for family involvement are simple, streamlined, and supportive

Day 4 // September 22

  • I interview Bellwether’s own Jeff Schulz to get some pro tips on family engagement strategies and organizational planning
  • Allison Crean Davis stresses that the lack of equal opportunities for kids of different backgrounds means that schools have to work to live up to parent expectations

You can read the whole series here!

One thought on “All Parents Have High Hopes: A Recap

  1. Mike G

    Great series!

    I’d perhaps quibble with this:

    “The biggest misconception I see is that there is a tradeoff between focusing time, energy, and money on family engagement versus direct support to students. In fact, when done well, family engagement is in direct alignment with student success.”

    The second sentence (alignment) doesn’t refute the first (tradeoff). It may be wise to, for example, hire a family engagement coordinator and hire one less social worker who directly supports kids (or not); it may be wise to ask teachers to spend more time with parents, and less time planning lessons or helping kids after-school (or not).

    The tradeoff may well be worth it!

    But I’m not sure how one can argue that there is not this tradeoff, of time and money. Way better to acknowledge that school leaders face real decisions, both in how they ask teachers to spend time, and in how they use limited discretionary funds for staff.

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