Monday, September 06, 2004

Parents, the secret ingredient

Tim at Assorted Stuff argues that parents are key to their kids'success in school. As always, good points and good stuff.

As a reference, here's the letter which has precipitated some discussion:
Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) academies deserve high praise for their remarkable accomplishments ["School of Hard Choices," Style, Aug. 24], but it is unlikely that they can serve as a nationwide model for other hard-to-teach students.

KIPP students constitute a self-selected group whose parents either are deeply involved in the education of their children or make a serious commitment to become so.

The fact that KIPP parents choose this school and agree to help enforce its rules sets them apart from the parents of most poor and minority students.

KIPP counters that its students had the same parents when they were performing poorly in regular schools, but they are the same in name only. Once the parents decide to enroll their children in KIPP academies, they no longer play the same role in their children's lives. In that sense, they are different parents.

The key to KIPP's success is parents who care. Unfortunately, too many inner-city students lack this fundamental right.
I do agree parents make the difference. I'll add that other issues (about parents) are in play as well, such as class and culture.