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In the fall of 1989, President Bush and 50 state governors gathered to discuss why the American education system was failing. A major conclusion of the summit was that parents have a tremendous influence on their children's education. For change to occur in educational outcomes, parents must realize that the primary responsibility for their children's education lies with the family. In addition, American society must accept two facts about parenting: parents are responsible for child rearing, and professionals are responsible for educating parents. Community parent involvement programs are needed to support parent participation in education. A model program would train parents to conduct parent training classes in every school. Parent education programs should teach basic parenting skills to expectant parents and parents of elementary and secondary school students. Every high school should develop a family lifestyle class for students. Churches should also offer training in parenting skills, and state legislators should become involved by establishing appropriations enabling local school districts to operate parent training programs. Parent involvement programs will become a reality only when communities are ready to make a commitment to working with parents. (MM)

Descriptors: Child Rearing, Community Involvement, Community Programs, Educational Responsibility, Elementary Secondary Education, Models, Parent Education, Parent Influence, Parent Participation, Parent Responsibility, Parent Role, Parent School Relationship, Parent Student Relationship, Parents as Teachers

Autor: Wagonseller, Bill R.


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