It's back to school time -- for parents, too

August 10, 2010 9:50:00 AM



School bells are ringing across the Golden Triangle. But kids aren''t the only ones who need to hunker down for the new school year. With so much at stake, we challenge parents to take a more active role in their children''s education. 


Ask any teacher, and she''ll tell you that the parents of the students doing well in school are the ones who show up -- to teacher conferences, school open houses, and PTA meetings. As a rule, the children with parents who take an active role in their education have a leg up on everyone else. 


What''s at stake? With funding formulas tied to school performance, the quality of the schools themselves, for one thing. The future economic strength of the state, for another. Most importantly, the ability of your child to get a decent job and raise a family. 


A quality education, available to all, is a blessing that our culture takes for granted. Parents should drive home to their children that going to school isn''t a bitter medicine they''re forced to take -- it''s something to embrace and take seriously. It''s a privilege and an opportunity. 


Teachers can''t do it alone -- they have their students for a few hours. Parents, you have them the rest of the time. Help them with their homework. Make sure they''re well fed and rested. Get to know their teachers. Take an active role in their schools. If they''re younger than school age, read to them and with them. 


Show them you care about their future. 


The United States used to lead the world in the number of young people with advanced degrees, according to the College Board. We now rank 12th. 


Every young person has a shot at success in school, and a college education. That shot doesn''t begin in the classroom, however. It begins at home.