Unfortunately, it took an eighth-grader bringing a pistol to Glenn Hills Middle School to get the attention of some parents.
School and district administrators said waning parental involvement at the school in recent years has coincided with an increase in disciplinary problems and slipping student achievement.
“Lately it’s been nonexistent,” the school’s instructional coach Elizabeth Arnette recently said of parent involvement. “When the parents come up here, it’s always for a problem. We rarely get parents here for positive things.”
We’re not surprised. Every educational study since 1983’s landmark A Nation at Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform has come to the same conclusion: Parents who are more involved in their child’s education help produce better students and better schools.
Nationwide, schools with larger populations of active parents tend to report better student attendance, fewer incidents of drug and alcohol use, fewer incidents of violence and higher test scores and graduation rates. Statistics reflect that year after year.
Unfortunately, many parents still believe the education of their children is the sole burden of the school system. That’s sadly predictable, considering the nanny state has enabled millions to abdicate personal responsibility to the government.
Six out of every 10 public schoolchildren receive free meals through the National School Lunch Program. What does it say about a society where millions of parents can’t be counted on to feed their own children, something that’s the most basic of parental duties?
It doesn’t take a “village” to raise a child. It takes dedicated, nurturing parents.
Richmond County Board of Education President Venus Cain told a gathering of about 60 concerned Glenn Hills parents that the community must put an end to a culture of blaming the school board or the school establishment for problems that might be happening at home.
“The parent comes up to the school and you want to cuss the principal out, you want to cuss the teacher out, you want to hold me responsible for not educating your child,” she said. “I don’t live in your house.”
We agree wholeheartedly with Cain, but she may have been preaching to the choir. The problem lies not with the 60 parents who showed up, but with the dozens who didn’t.