The more important question is- whether or not schools really want parent involvement? Parent involvement from parents from any socio-economic background means accountability of schools if they are truly informed. School officials who are incompetent and not in compliance with state and federal laws do not want accountability.
Many educators play on the prejudices of the public by blaming parents of poor and minority students for the failure of their districts. They do not have the voice or the resources to to defend themselves. In fact that there are many incompetent education leaders who are in positions of power and privilege. We deny facts that hundreds and thousands of children are failing through the educational cracks because of the biased belief that if they are poor they parents work menial jobs then the child can’t be successful. It’s called low expectations.
Media has presented us with proof that educators are not exempt from being unethical. Many districts do not apply for funding to help schools from low -income districts because they do not believe that investing money will not make a difference because the students either innately can not learn, or they are already “four hundred years behind”. Lack of Cultural competency skills to reach students from various cultures is responsible for the failure of many students and segregates students based on personal biases.
I think that parent involvement is necessary to both to improve their children’s academics and to keep those who are unscrupulous and unfair within the educational system accountable.
Educators deny parents from low socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to be involved many times based on bias thinking that because they are assumed to be unsuccessful they can’t help the school or their children. This is not a one size fits all theory as it relates to why students drop out of school.
Some reasons for poor and minority students as well as students form rich to middle class backgrounds dropping out include: the environment was not conducive for learning, personal reasons,feeling of exclusion and being treated discriminatingly. Testing has caused many students to quit school after being held back numerous times for failing a test while passing curriculum. They are academically left behind and end up as behavior problems and eventually quit school.
Parent involvement really matters in schools where there is a closed system of management. It’s time to stop blaming poor and minority children and their parents for the failure of our schools. They are victims of a system that employs people who have not looked inward at their own biases and have made a solid decision to work to help every child to the best of his/her ability.