Our View: The missing piece in education reform? Dads
The writers warn that dads shouldn't think of their kids' schools as "mom's territory." Their presence helps.
February 11th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Our View: The missing piece in education reform? Dads

By Christopher Brown and Vincent DiCaro, Special to CNN

Courtesy National Fatherhood InitiativeEditor’s note: Christopher Brown is executive vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Vincent DiCaro is vice president of development and communication of the National Fatherhood Initiative.

(CNN) - There is no shortage of answers about how to improve our nation’s schools, including more charter schools, school vouchers, standardized testing, lower teacher-student ratios and performance-based hiring, pay and promotion of teachers.

Courtesy National Fatherhood InitiativeHowever, what we find lacking in almost every debate about education reform is the role of families - especially fathers - and the support they can and should provide to ensure children’s educational success.

If parents, educators and reformers are to make a difference in improving children’s educational success, we must expand our definition of education reform. We must move beyond the myopic focus on education systems and implement tactics that include a more prominent place for parent involvement in schools.

The omission of “the father factor” is especially troubling in light of research released last month that examined family trends in 45 countries and how children’s educational success is affected by their parents. The “World Family Map” report by Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, found that even when controlling for income, children in middle- and high-income countries who live with two parents have better educational outcomes than children living with one or no parents.

Specifically, children in two-parent homes were more likely to stay on track in school and have higher literacy, both of which are critical to overall educational success.

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Filed under: Education reform • Home Front • Parents • Voices