I read a study the other day that I thought was interesting. Researchers in India studied some academically successful college students to see if they could identify the factors that made them academically successful. They especially wanted to know if income and parenting style made a difference. They found that income did not, but parenting did. They found that academically successful students can come from any socio-economic background, but they all tend to have one thing in common; they have parents who are determined to see their children succeed in school.
It is only one study and a single study proves nothing, but it does suggest that one of the reasons why American students do so poorly academically, despite the vast amounts of money this country spends on their education, is that you can’t make children academically successful if their parents don’t value education.
Instead of wasting money trying to fix the public schools, maybe we should spend money trying to fix the parents. Spending money on schools isn’t going to work if we don’t find a way to make parents better.
Every child needs someone to instill in them a love of learning and a belief that they can be successful in school. Parents are the natural choice for the job, because of the child’s attachment to them and the great amount of time they spend with their child, but other people can do it too. My parents didn’t do this for me, but I succeeded anyway, because I found someone who did. Now I think that the best thing a child can have is not wealthy parents, but someone who believes in them, because knowing that someone you trust and respect believes you have what it takes to be a success is all the push you need to succeed.