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Parental Involvement In Urban School Districts


Kansas City, Mo. – Positive parental involvement in schools has been linked to higher test scores and good behavior in the classroom. And one organization that people have tended to associate with parental involvement, for more than 100 years, has been the Parent Teacher Association. The PTA is actually a national organization, with chapters in many schools across the country. But today, the PTA has about half the membership that it had fifty years ago. And it's mostly clustered in the suburbs, with few urban districts participating.

But the PTA is not the only approach to getting parents engaged. For a little more perspective on different approaches to parental involvement in urban schools, KC Currents' Susan B. Wilson spoke to Valerie Blackwell, an assistant teaching professor at the UMKC School of Education. Blackwell says parental involvement can take a lot of different forms.

KCUR intern Tim Lloyd reported on the PTA's involvement in urban schools, listen to that story here.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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