Its All About Raleigh-Frayser-North Memphis Jul/Aug 2012 - Page 6

P AGE 6 I T ’ S A LL A BOUT R ALEIGH - Over the years parental involvement in school has declined tremendously. But, with two working parents or a single parent household, who has the time to be involved in the schools? Studies show that when parents are involved students have higher grades, higher test scores, higher graduation rates, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self-esteem, lower rates of suspension, are less violent, and less likely to use drugs or alcohol. Our schools are failing our children. And, we as parents need to become more proactive and step up to breathe life back into the schools that are on life support, so they can become more successful. If we help our children succeed then in turn our schools will succeed. Here are some of the things parents can do to assist their children in staying on track:  Communicate with your child’s teachers! Email/text your child’s teachers to get updates on your child’s progress so you will know where your child is doing well, struggling or simply to encourage your child’s teachers. If you can take five minutes to make reservations for a baby shower, Sunday football gathering, or a birthday party, then you can take five minutes to check on your child’s progress and well being instead of waiting on a progress report or report cards.  Join and support and attend your school’s PTA/PTO meetings to see what is going on within you child’s school. With education reform taking place in the State of Tennessee, the school system is attempting to take the necessary steps to improve your child’s education by raising the level of accountability for Tennessee teachers. Imagine being in the shoes of a teacher who is trying to gain tenure and keep his/her job. The teacher’s tenure evaluation is based highly on “value added growth”. VAG is loosely defined as the educational growth of the child while under the instruction of a teacher. For example, a third grade student enters the school year on a first grade reading level and by the end of the year that same student is now reading on a fourth grade level. That is the VAG of that student. The student has gone from second to fourth grade reading level while under the instruction of the teacher. That sounds good and we hope for cases like this. But what if the same teacher has a student with the same characteristics and a parent or parents who neglect the child educationally, i.e. doesn’t bring the child to school on time or at all, doesn’t communicate with the teacher, the child isn’t prepared for school or never ensures homework is done. It is then safe to say that the described parent has just played a part in the child’s demise. Because if the child does not receive the education needed, especially in the foundation years, there is a good chance that the child will struggle throughout the rest of his/her time in primary education, possibly become a dropout, turn to a life of crime, end up incarcerated or even death. So now it’s your turn parent. Step up and assist your child in being the best that they can be!