Don’t Help Your Kids With Their Homework (Dana Goldstein)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Dana Goldstein is a Brooklyn-based journalist, a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, and a Puffin Fellow at the Nation Institute. This article appeared March 19, 2014 in Atlantic Online

One of the central tenets of raising kids in America is that parents should be actively involved in their children’s education: meeting with teachers, volunteering at school, helping with homework, and doing a hundred other things that few working parents have time for. These obligations are so baked into American values that few parents stop to ask whether they’re worth the effort.

Until this January, few researchers did, either. In the largest-ever study of how parental involvement affects academic achievement, Keith Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Angel L. Harris, a sociology professor at Duke, mostly found that it doesn’t. The researchers combed through nearly three decades’ worth of longitudinal surveys of American…

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