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.