Monthly Archive for June, 2007

Family Advocates Need to Back Parents in Schools

When you see a wrong or an injustice do you speak up? Do you join like-minded people to advance a cause? In your town or city there must be groups who speak on family issues. They should be approached by parents who feel their role in the education of their children is being compromised by school officials and teachers who believe that "experts know best" and see parents as merely fund raisers or unquestioning supporters. In this day and age parents should NOT be excluded from either individual involvement on behalf of their children or as voluntary members in their school’s parent advisory group. Literature on the subject shows the benefits from such involvement:

  • Family efficacy is nurtured through genuine involvement
  • School decisions more closely meet student needs and interests
  • Student achievement improves
  • Good discipline and positive school morale results
  • Culture of the school is more reflective of joint efforts rather than we/they split

For parents nowadays to be left out in the cold is not acceptable. There should be a culture of valuing parents in each and every school in democratic countries. It’s been a long haul for parents in British Columbia, but we do now have mandated parent advisory councils in every public school supported by School Act statutes and funding. One of the propelling agencies for this was no doubt the input from the BC Council for the Family which as early as the middle 70’s reported:

Most parents are concerned about the welfare of their children in school, and their own involvement in the overall process of education. However, not all parents felt that their views were really welcome or appreciated.

Of the 94 recommendations generated at the Conference on the Family, 1976, more dealt with education than any other issue.