National Education and Parent Organizations Support Parents with New English- and Spanish-Language Resources in Time for Back-to-School
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — For the second year in a row, a new national survey finds that nine in 10 K-8 parents say their child is performing at or above grade level in reading and math, when only a third of students are achieving at that level, according to 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data.
“Parents 2017: Unleashing Their Power & Potential,” a national survey of K-8 parents released today by Learning Heroes in collaboration with Univision, and in partnership with National PTA, National Urban League, UNCF, and UnidosUS, also shows that while parents are confident about their children’s academics, they are increasingly anxious about other issues, from their child’s happiness and emotional well-being, to peer pressure, bullying, and more. Still, they have very high expectations for their children, with a full 75% expecting their child to get a two- or four-year college degree.
“As a mother of two teen boys, this disconnect is a heartbreaking wake-up call,” says Bibb Hubbard, founder of Learning Heroes. “Parents are all in when it comes to their children’s happiness and success, owning the responsibility for how well their children perform in school. The data clearly show that most parents lack an accurate picture of their children’s progress. We believe it’s because so much of what parents receive about their child’s progress is indecipherable—filled with edu-jargon, confusing terms, and often lacking actionable information they need to fulfill their commitment to support their children’s learning and growth.”
The survey also finds that a majority of parents (66%) say their child is doing above average academically, 77% rate their schools highly, and more than 80% rate the job their teachers are doing highly, from communicating about academic achievement, to outlining expectations for learning, to informing key concepts they are learning, and more.
But the survey reveals a wobbly foundation beneath today’s academic perceptions. This year, more parents worry about their child being on track academically and gaining skills and knowledge to prepare for college than last year. Two in five parents are not highly confident their child will be prepared to enter and succeed in college, and once informed about NAEP scores, more than one quarter of parents concede it is likely their child is performing below grade level now.
A majority of parents say they would find resources and information helpful in supporting their child’s academic success, including a detailed explanation of what their child is expected to learn over the course of the year, activities to improve English and math skills, tips on how to advocate for their child, and homework support. Hispanic parents—especially Spanish-dominant parents—and African-American parents express the greatest interest in resources.
“Clearly, there is a real and urgent need to bridge the gulf between the information parents are provided about their child’s progress and their child’s actual level of achievement,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “This research shows that parents want to be equipped with proper information and tools so they can be the stewards they aspire to be and raise their children to be happy, productive, and successful adults.”
In response to Parents 2017 findings, and to provide parents with the back-to-school tools they need to guide their children’s learning, Learning Heroes joined forces with National PTA and Scholastic to create the Super 5 Back-to-School Power Moves. This tool focuses on five core actions parents can take as part of their everyday routine. It links to resources such as the Readiness Roadmap, which includes information on academic expectations, financing college, life skills for kids, parent-teacher communications, learning tools, and more. The Super 5 and Readiness Roadmap are available in both English and Spanish and can be found at bealearninghero.org.
Parents 2017 is a poll of more than 1,400 parents of public school students in K-8 to better understand parents’ mindsets about their children’s education. The survey was conducted in English and Spanish and included oversamples of African-American and Hispanic parents. This is the second year of the survey, which was funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
- By a ratio of 3:2, parents say it is more important that their child be happy and not overly stressed by school than do well academically. Hispanic parents are more likely to emphasize academics, with 55% saying happiness is more important and 44% saying academics are more important.
- Education is not a major factor when parents think about their child’s happiness today, but it comes into play when they think about their child’s happiness and well-being as an adult.
- Parents place primary responsibility for their child’s success on themselves and their child. Only 12% of all parents said schools (teachers, principal, district leaders) have the greatest responsibility. Parents tend to shift the burden from themselves to their child when their child reaches middle school.
- Among the 39% of parents who think their child struggled academically at some point, more than half did not feel highly confident they could support their child’s learning.
- Parents rely on report card grades more than state tests to gauge their child’s academics. 66% of parents say report cards grades provide a more accurate picture of their child’s achievement than annual state tests.
About Learning Heroes
Learning Heroes informs and equips parents to help their children succeed in school. We start by listening to parents and meeting them where they are with easy-to-understand information, tools, and resources. Our partners include Common Sense Media, GreatSchools, National PTA, National Urban League, UNCF, UnidosUS, Univision Communications Inc., and others.
About the Study
Hart Research Associated conducted this national survey among 1,423 parents of public school children in grades K-8. It includes a nationally representative survey of 813 elementary and middle school parents. It includes oversamples among Hispanics (to yield 293 Spanish-dominant Hispanic parents and 266 English-dominant Hispanic parents) and African Americans (to yield 280 African-American parents). The online survey was conducted March 22 to April 6, 2017, and was offered in both English and Spanish. The survey was administered by GfK, using their KnowledgePanel©, a probability-based Web panel designed to be representative of the United States. The survey has a margin of error of +3.2 percentage points for all parents. Sample tolerances for subgroups are larger.
SOURCE Learning Heroes