According to a recent study, parents are more influential on their child’s academic success that the school their child attends.

The report asserts that the effort a parent puts in at home – checking homework, encouraging strong academic performances from their children, etc. – is ultimately more important than the quality of the student’s school.

To arrive at their findings, researchers compared “family social capital” and “school social capital” for 10,000 12th graders.

From the Black Star Project:

“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.

Measures of family social capital included:

• Does the parent check the student’s homework?
• Does the parent attend school meetings?
• Does the parent attend school events?
• How much trust does the parent have in the child?
• How often do students report discussing school programs, activities, and classes with parents?

‘In part what’s going on is that, when the children’s parents are engaged in those ways, then the children pick up on it. They think, ‘School is important. My parents think it’s important,’ and that increases their attachment to education, which translates into better achievement,’ Parcel said.

To measure school social capital, which is defined as a school’s ability to serve as a positive environment for learning, the researchers evaluated:

• Student participation in extracurricular activities;
• Whether the school contacted parents;
• The level of teacher morale;
• The level of conflict between teachers and administrators;
• Whether teachers responded to individual student needs; and
• An overall measure of school environment that tapped delinquency, absenteeism, and violence.”


Thoughts on this study?

Are these results obvious? Are they problematic?

Sound off below!