Poverty, undereducation and disconnectedness to society beget exactly those same things — a problem that has stymied policymakers since the advent of public education, which was supposed to be the solution. Four centuries of publicly funded schools in America have taught us, definitively, that education is much more than schooling.
 All receive schooling, but in large part, those of the educated class get educated and those not of the educated class do not. In the absence of a well-educated, well-socialized parent, how do we expect any different of the child? Left-wingers think governments and school systems can do the job. Right-wingers think only those families with what it takes to do it on their own deserve an excellent education and inclusion into the upper echelons of society. The logical mind predicts a superior answer somewhere in-between.
 “Parent University” is a superior answer, courtesy of some logical minds in the academic and educational fields. It is parent engagement taken to the next level, focused primarily on developing parents’ ability to “engage” effectively.”  (Educating the Family,” by Scott Carroll, The Baltimore Sun)

As an example, a segment on Anderson Cooper’s CNN “AC360,” featured the Philadelphia School System’s “Parent University,” a brainchild of Superintendent Dr. Arlene C. Ackerman.

The Philadelphia School District’s own description of this initiative reads:  “Parent University, a program started under Dr. Ackerman’s directive shortly after her arrival in Philadelphia, is an innovative approach to assisting parents in supporting their children’s academic progress.  The nationally recognized program provides opportunities for parents to collaborate with schools and the District in order to fully participate in their children’s education.  Participating parents are provided the opportunity to attend day and evening classes and workshops on family and financial literacy, health/wellness and cultural enrichment, information on District and community resources, multi-lingual programs and professional certifications and college degree attainment.  To date, the program has served over 22,000 parents, with classes offered at 50 sites throughout the city.”

More than two decades ago, a similar program (“Family Technology Resource Centers”) was started in the DeKalb County (Georgia) school system, under the direction of Dr. Edward Bouie, Jr.  These centers were, and are today, open to entire extended families, including the children.  DeKalb’s results have proven equally successful.

“Social, economic, and political changes are rapidly moving America to a land composed of those who have achieved all that the society has to offer and those who are unable to break free from the chains of poverty that have, in many instances, trapped their families for generations,” Dr. Bouie maintained.

The DeKalb FTRCs are attempting to address all of the issues that Dr. Bouie discussed in his initial concept paper through a realization of three basic precepts:

  • What parents do to help their children learn matters more to their children’s accomplishment than family income or education.
  • What schools do to encourage parents to participate in their children’s education matters more to student achievement than family income or education.
  • What community groups — including employers, religious organizations, and service agencies — do to support families and schools can make an important contribution to overall community effectiveness.

Involving parents and children, together, in the education process is a win/win for everyone.

More on Monday  –  –  –

        — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

         May 10, 2017

  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)