Up for Debate: Parental involvement in schools

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 12:03am

How involved would you say parents are in their child's school? What could be done to encourage better working relationships between parents and schools? Should the government pass measures to push parental involvement?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

64 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 5/6/13 at 11:38

Good morning, Nashville.

How involved would you say parents are in their child's school?
It varies...like anything else, most parents will do the best that they can; but there will be over-achievers and under-achievers.

What could be done to encourage better working relationships between parents and schools?
I don't know....maybe more social contact between teachers and parents? Might I suggest an evening of wine and cheese....music perhaps....in the school cafeteria or gym....a little "partying" and chit-chat could be quite helpful.

Should the government pass measures to push parental involvement?
The Tennessee Tea-baggers trotted out a couple of goofy ideas a while back....too goofy, even by TN standards. One of the mean-spirited pieces of legislation called for withholding welfare benefits from the families of failing students.

I think that the government, if it wishes to encourage parental involvement in education, should try using the carrot, not the stick....threatening poor families with a loss of benefits and similar negative reinforcement schemes are counter-productive to the stated goal.

By: Ask01 on 5/7/13 at 3:00

I agree with Loner. Most parents will do the best they can according to work schedules, economic ability, and educational level. Those parents who did poorly in school themselves may not be inclined to be as proactive as others who did well.

Encouraging more parental involvement and better relations with teachers is a more difficult proposition. If a parent doesn't care and can't be bothered to at least show some interest, there is little society can do aside from hoping the chiildren have some self motivation.

Passing laws requiring parental involvement will have only slightly more impact than laws attempting to regulate morality or dictate the foods people should consume.

If we did have the hoped for degree of parental involvement, (and for that matter, citizen involvement, since an educated student contributes more to society,) Metro Nashville could have some awesome schools, even with Mayor Dean's support.

By: Rocket99 on 5/7/13 at 6:38

Some schools and teachers do not want parental involvement during the school day. One of my coworkers was in a job where at least every other week she could smpend anywhere from an hour to all day at her child's school to volunteer where needed. She basically was told to stay away.

Over the years, the areas where I've seen the most parental involvement has been around band and sports. This mostly happens after the normal school day.

I know all parents either can't or don't really want to be involved with their child's school for various reasons. Some feel embarrased because of their socioeconomical status while others just really don't seem to have the time.

In my opinion, where parents need to be heavily involved is after school. Spend time with their kids. Encourage dialog. Find out what's really going on. Support them and build self esteem. Lots of our youth get involved with gangs because that's where they feel "family" and a part of something. Their positive role models are anything but positive.

Something I think we need is more community involvement with our youth both during and after school whether it's through mentoring, tutoring or other forms of positive reinforcement. Too many times we all tend to say "It's not my problem" until something happens in a negative manor that directly affects us.

By: govskeptic on 5/7/13 at 6:53

Both involved and uninvolved parents all have personality traits and education
or lack thereof to know they need badly to assist their kids with education.
Unfortunately, fewer parents are going to the "trouble" of giving their time and
attention to child or teachers. Maybe a lot of self-motivation can be introduced
bit by bit in many of the earliest courses and even beginner reading books.
Neither monetary threats or reward are an answer to these persistent problems.

Encouragement to parents and child in creative ways appears the only answer.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 7:00


By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 7:25

I think busing and the trend toward huge consolidated schools on the faux promise of economies of scale have destroyed any sense of community with respect to schools.

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 7:27

Also this maternal brainwashing to dismiss any minor vice as 'stupid' and 'idiotic' can seriously undermine the parent's authority with the child.

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 7:33


By: Captain Nemo on 5/7/13 at 8:07

I don't see thing in the near future that is going to help. Not even more parental help, because of money. Not enough money to go for a truly well balanced program and highly educated teachers.

Now Rasputin, well tell us about diversity as the culprit.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 8:11

Ben...the meme's text may have an error, the word "that", should have been "than"?

IMO, "more important than" makes more sense than "more important that"....Spellcheck will not catch wrong word errors like that.

The Scrooge-like figure certainly is a poster-boy for Tea-party Trickle-down...Tinkle-down Economics: Cake for the robber barons.....Crumbs for the workers....Nothing for the non-workers....Survival of the fittest.....Dog eat dog.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 8:27

Gov may be right, financial rewards for parents who get involved with their kids education - the positive reinforcement approach - may not work either....but has it ever been tried?

If poor families saw their benefits increase, in proportion to how well their kids performed in school, lots of stay at home parents might become more motivated to participate in the educational process..

A nice sweet carrot works better than a bloody stick...why not try a more humane approach, in a few pilot programs? If it works, expand the program....it would be money wisely invested, IMO.

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 8:38

Sorry loner... in my haste I miss-typed it. That distraction really takes away from the point. Here is the corrected one.


By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 8:39

The problem is that decent parents have deserted public schools. That leaves mostly ghetto and white trash behind. So, who cares? Apes cannot be educated.

By: HoundDog on 5/7/13 at 8:55

This "Jughead" person said: "Apes cannot be educated."

My only observation is that your ability (however limited) to use written language seems to contradict that statement.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 8:59

Please, let me continue my "sermonette", as Rasputin would say.....I'm on a roll.

How about a program in which kids whose parents are receiving public assistance are rewarded for scholastic achievement, by way of monthly benefit level increases, indexed to the student's performance in school?

Here's my proposed deal:
For every "A", the family's monthly benefit goes up $20.....for every "B", the benefit increases to $15.....for every "C", the benefit increases by $10. No rewards for "D" or below.....call it the Parental Involvement Program...PIP.

That acronym is especially fitting... the central character, Pip, was the young beneficiary in Dickens' novel, Great Expectations.

With the PIP deal, the kids would be able to help the family out financially, by buckling down and working harder in school.

For kids whose parents are not on public assistance, the PIP program could still apply....by reducing the family's school tax bill, in direct proportion to student scholastic performance....same deal: A=20...B=15...C=10 (dollars) in tax rebates.

No, it won't work in every case; but why not try that approach in a pilot program?

There...sermonette concluded.....any feedback on that?

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 9:03

Ben, happy to have been of service....the new meme works for me...although I'm not a fan of Scrooge, the idea comes across.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 9:07

Hound Dog has picked up the scent of Jughead....and he howls with righteous indignation...like a coon hound that smells a shit-house rat....a rat that calls some humans, "apes"....now that takes, "balls".

By: dargent7 on 5/7/13 at 9:25

The Gov't SHOULD NOT "pass any measures...." How insane is that?
Today, most families are single parent who works full time. Two parent families, both work.
I don't know how today's kids handle it....iPhones, computers....too much stimulation.
Kids raise themselves.

By: dargent7 on 5/7/13 at 9:31

Loner: Your Pip idea has merit, but the amounts are too low. $20. for an "A"?
Make it $50. and then you'll get traction.

By: grid on 5/7/13 at 9:43

Loner, I don't often agree with your positions, but your 9:59 post is right on!

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 10:17

I fear that, under your plan loner, many of the developmentally challenged might arrive back to school after report-card day with extra bruises and cigarette burns.

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 10:23

Jughead coarsely nails what is part of Metro's problem, with white flight.

Sadly some children are not taught in the home that the sky is the limit and they can be whatever they choose and strive to be.

Jug's ignorant diagnosis of inferiority beyond the cultural trap these children find themselves in, though, is quite offensive.


Jugs is a racist and bigoted moron.

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 10:24

I would hope such bile and ignorance would reach the level of a violation of this site's ToS.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 11:01

You PCtards make me sick. Wake me when America wants to have an honest and non-hysterical discussion about race.

You libs can pretend that blacks are not the problem, but that still doesn't make it true. Gabillions of dollars have been spent trying to "equalize" the playing field, and the apes remain addicted to rap music, crack, Old English 40 ozr's, and out of wedlock birthin.

White trash is not any better. Just substitute meth and oxy.

You know I am right, but don't have the BALLS to admit it.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 11:03

Liberal males are the most pathetic, girly, spineless women in the world--save the French. Nothing tops their cowardice.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 11:31

Thanks for the feedback....sounds like common ground has been reached...now, we have to get that idea to the power brokers...Governor Haslam and Mayor Dean would have to endorse such a bold and novel idea....the Supt. of Schools and the various boards would have tp be brought on-board too....let us hope that those two fellas have staff who read these comment boards and report things like this to their bosses.

Who knows...Tennessee's PIP incentives, a positive reinforcement approach, could turn things around...when you are 49th in the USA, in educational performance, why not give PIP a shot?

If need be, I'll move down there and help set the deal up.....let's roll!

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 11:35

Comparing Jug with a "Shit-house rat" is an insult to privy-dwelling rodents everywhere....mea culpa.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 11:43

Yeah, Ben, the professional zealots for the developmentally disabled might scream, "Foul!!", if the hard-working and the gifted kids got a slice of that government pie...the zealots would jealously guard their slice of the pie, if PIP was tried....it's simply human nature...the NIH factor would also come into play...that's the Not Invented Here effect....it stifles progress in the public and private sectors.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 11:43

The thought police are alive and well here. Just like Germany in the 1930's.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 11:48

Loner wants his slice of the gov't pie---Tenncare and AFDC.

What a freeloading piece of garbage.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 11:55

Jingle James is on this PIP deal...here's the mnemonic device that James suggests:

Tennessee Pays For A's.

With an attention-grabbing slogan like that and a cool mnemonic like PIP, the Parental Involvement Program could be a winner....let's be honest, Tennessee has little to lose....and a lot to gain, if the idea pays off.

Start with a pilot program in Nashville:

Nashville Pays For A's.

Good luck!

Jingle James

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 12:00

Privy-dwelling rodents do not stoop to crude name-calling....my original analogy was way off.

Ben's right, the NCP's ToS are being tested with this troll's clueless caustic commentary.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 12:05


By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 1:06

Ahhh... blow it out your @$$ you f*ckin' racist piece of sh!t. Jugs... I know dozens of young black men an women who overcame the social and cultural traps to persevere and move on to great accomplishments. Apes?

You aren't worth the maggot infested ooze from a disposed month old bag of out of date chicken parts, you reprehensible reprobate.

How about you do the species a favor, gag yourself on a loaded .357... then scratch that itch on your trigger finger so that there's nothing left to identify and memorialize on a headstone?

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 1:09

Loner I was afraid that instead of them getting the rewards that the parents would punish them for not bringing home the B-average bacon.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 1:10

Like big words, BentOverUpDaAzz?

You are an amateur, and stupid. The first step is to admit you are out of your league.

The second is to take remedial English. Perhaps your ramblings will then appear coherent.

The third step is to go sit in the corner and try to matter.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 1:14

Apes will never leave the ghetto.

A few of the smart ones will emerge, and good for them. But, the other 99% of the primate kingdom is left behind to reproduce, inebriate, and gangbang.

There's no hope. It's just not in their collective DNA.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 1:54

Darge, $20/mo comes out to $240/year in increased benefits for every "A"...that's already enough to gag a Tea-Bagger....a straight A student with say, five A's, as a year-end aggregate grade, in five recognized courses of study, would help his/her family out to the tune of about $1200 per year....either as increased public assistance or in school tax rebates....a $1200 cap per student...maybe a per family cap, to satisfy the baggers?

Those figures sound reasonable to me....but others might disagree.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 1:56

Ben. I now what you meant...I just went off on a tangent....professional zealots suck.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 1:59

I know what you meant...is what I meant to post...I'm just a hominid on a mudball too.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 2:26

Loner, you are mentally deranged if you think kids should be responsible for getting welfare benefits for mom and dad (o.k., just mom. Dad is in jail).

Insane. Deranged. Liberals. America.

By: yogiman on 5/7/13 at 2:31

Easy, BenDover. Use that old working system: Consider the source and ignore it.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 2:43

Not every student is or can be a straight A student....a good, but not great student might have one A, three B's and one C, in a 5-course curriculum...a student like that would earn 1@20 + 3@15+1@10...the total amount earned would be $75/month....or $900 per annum, for his or her family.

A straight C student would net 5@10 per mo...or $600 per annum....again, in increased monthly public assistance pay outs...or as a reduction, or rebate in school taxes owed.

That sounds quite generous....but affordable, if test scores suddenly and dramatically improve. Investing in our youth is a sound investment, in my opinion.

Let the work ethic kick in at the student level....adults know that hard work pays off..and that's a lesson that the kids need to learn as well.

By: Loner on 5/7/13 at 2:46

Yogi speaks wisdom @ 3:31.

By: Jughead on 5/7/13 at 2:47

Our gov't is TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, economic collapse is imminent, and Loner wants to come up with some BONEHEADED entitlement program that is a perfect candidate for fraud?

Sheesh. This kind of moronic and idiotic thought process is what is bring this country to its knees. I just cannot believe how stupid America has become.

By: BenDover on 5/7/13 at 2:52

Jug's has a thing for apes it seems... and one would imagine live-stock too. He doesn't even know he tipped the scales morphing a Michael Berry-esque rant into a full on spittle spewing racist attack that paints blacks as an inferior race.

You stepped over the line there bubba. We can agree there are cultural issues that need to be addressed in the African American community and with the struggling underclass in this country of all races; but to judge someone as inferior and an 'APE' because their parents were not bred right? Sir, you're an ill informed asshole.

How 'bout you reveal to the world who you really are, since you're so proud of your well-bred enlightened superiority to the lesser races? Caustic substances like you should require a warning label.

By: bfra on 5/7/13 at 3:15

From all I have read, it would seem Apes have more intelligence than Jughead.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/7/13 at 3:23

We could erase what has become racism by taking away voting privileges for anyone age 25 through 65 who do not pay any federal income taxes.

There are a lot of other practical options but for reasons that are not considered humanitarian they are not considered.

By: bfra on 5/7/13 at 3:31

By: Rasputin72 on 5/7/13 at 4:23
We could erase what has become racism by taking away voting privileges for anyone age 25 through 65 who do not pay any federal income taxes.

You love to splat this sentence on the board, regularily. Now with your really, really seemingly inept brain, explain how that would erase racism.

By: yogiman on 5/7/13 at 3:38

I hate to tell you this, bfra, but racism can only be erased personally. No way can a government, or person, can stop racism except personally.

And I see where your buddy Barry might be on his way out based on that Benghazi incident.