Friedman: How about better parents?

Tom Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman penned an op-ed that ran Saturday about the recent discussion about reform in education – specifically that the blame for the so-called lamentable state of our schools is pinned on everything from teachers to testing to unions and anything else.

Friedman points out that some new studies also show that we need parents to step up if we want schools to truly succeed.

The basis for his argument is a series of exams done as part of the Program for International Student Assessment, which tests 15-year-olds in industrialized nations on reading comprehension and ability to use science and math lessons in solving real problems. Americans have not been diong well, compared with their counterparts in places like Singapore, Finland and shanghai.

Yes, students from more well-to-do households are more likely to have more involved parents. “However,” the PISA team found, “even when comparing students of similar socioeconomic backgrounds, those students whose parents regularly read books to them when they were in the first year of primary school score 14 points higher, on average, than students whose parents did not.”

Read the rest of Friedman’s opinion at the New York Times

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