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I was surprised to learn, upon browsing through a recent edition of the Digest of Education Statistics, that parental involvement in their children’s educations has been steadily increasing for a decade. And it has been true across all ethnic and income classes as well. To cite one example, in 1999, 36.8% of all children had a parent volunteer at their schools. In 2007 that share rose to 46.4%. And while, for example, those participation rates are lower for poorer families, they too have been on the rise. For example, in families earning less than $25,000 about 20% of children had parents that volunteered in 1999, that share rose to near 28% in 2007.

3 Responses to “Fun Facts to Know and Tell: It’s the Parents Stupid! Edition”

  1. Michael says:

    I would imagine homeschooling rates have gone up, too.

    Oh, here we go: “In 2007, the number of homeschooled students was about 1.5 million, an increase from 850,000 in 1999 and 1.1 million in 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007. The increase in the percentage of homeschooled students from 1999 to 2007 represents a 74 percent relative increase over the 8-year period and a 36 percent relative increase since 2003” (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=91).

  2. Wayne says:

    Parents need to be involved to understand who are the teachers to avoid. Presence at the school ties into the ability to directly influence getting your kids to the “right” teacher. I am a little surprised though that the level of volunteers has not driven the teachers unions to protest that the functions provided by the parents should be provided by union staff.

  3. Mike says:

    I don’t think that word “volunteer” means what the Digest of Education Statistics would have the reader believe. I have no doubt that this increased parental involvement has been both officially and unofficially required. I don’t have any research to back up that claim, it’s just been my experience over the last decade of dealing with my own kids.

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