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Study: Parents More Influential than Schools in Academic Success

Researchers from three universities have compiled data that suggests that parental involvement is more important in determining the academic success of a child than the schools the kids attend. From the Huffington Post:

 

The study based its findings on data from the National Education Longitudinal Study, which measured the achievement of a group of 10,000 high school seniors in math, reading, science and history.

The study found that students were more successful if they came from families with high social capital -- the connection between parents and children. Although school social capital is important, students succeeded even if their schools had low social capital (teacher morale, positive learning environment, addressing needs of children). This means that the more parents engaged in their children's education, the more successful their children were.

From Ed Week:

 

"The effort that parents are putting in at home in terms of checking homework, reinforcing the importance of school, and stressing the importance of academic achievement is ultimately very important to their children's academic achievement," Dr. Toby Parcel, professor of sociology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. and a co-author of the study, told Education Week.

To arrive at their findings, researchers used the National Education Longitudinal Study datato evaluate social capital at home and at school. Parcel said her group evaluated results from 10,000 12th graders, taking into account their composite test scores in math, reading, science, and history to measure achievement levels.

Researchers compared measures of "family social capital" and "school social capital," discovering that even in schools that had low social capital, students were more likely to excel if their family social capital scores were high.

Read more about "social capital" here.

Read the full study here.