Parental involvement in a child’s education is the most important aspect determining a student’s academic success, according to a study by researchers at three universities. North Carolina State University Professor Toby Parcel, a co-author of the study, stressed that “the effort that parents are putting in at home . . . checking homework, reinforcing the importance of school, and stressing the importance of academic achievement” is critical. Results were based on 10,000 12th-graders.
In an effort to combat parental apathy, 70 Chicago Public schools are offering $25 Walgreens gift cards to parents who attend a parent-teacher conference. This novel (monetary) approach that encourages parents to speak to a teacher and pick up their child’s report card is the brainchild of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.
A civil rights group has announced that a controversial and previously outlawed Mexican-American ethnic studies program will return to Tucson schools. Earlier this year the program was halted because it violates a state law that prohibits public schools from offering courses designed for a particular ethnic group or that advocate ethnic solidarity. This latest turn of events is the result of a 40-year-old desegregation lawsuit against Tucson Unified School District by Latinos and African-Americans, supported by the Department of Justice.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has introduced the No Hungry Kids Act, which would reverse federal school lunch caloric limitations and strengthen parents’ right to send to school any food they wish their child to eat. The bill responds to President and Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which increased nutritional requirements and limited the maximum number of calories allowed in school lunches across the nation. Numerous students and parents have complained that the serving sizes are inadequate and the food offered is unappetizing. Rep. King said that because some kids are overweight, the federal government decided “to put every child on a diet.”