Parents Blogs are Buzzing: Mandatory Volunteering?!

May 18, 2010 at 9:54 am Leave a comment

A school committee in San Jose, California  is considering making volunteering mandatory.

But not for the students…for their parents.

The low-income Alum Rock Union school district lacks a PTA, and is attempting to support its school and students by making it mandatory for families of all 13,000 students to volunteer at least 30 hours per year, according to an article in the Mercury News.

The school district wants to encourage parents and guardians to participate in their children’s school by going on field trips, volunteering at science fairs, and the like. And perhaps they’re on the right track.

According to a study by the Texas-based Southwest Educational Development, regardless of income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, be promoted, attend school regularly, have better social skills and graduate.

The proposed plan would be modeled after one already in place at another Alum Rock school, Adelante Dual Language Academy. The Academy even “grades” parents on their participation in the school. Despite controversy, so far, no parents have pulled their students out of the Academy because of the program.

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