Is Our Children Learning? (You Can Help If They Isn’t)

dad2summitFatherhood on Friday

Now that most of our kids are back to school, here’s a question: How would you react if your kid brought home a report card with 32 C’s on it?

Well, parents, that kid is America. And according to the 23rd annual “Quality Counts” report card issued by Education Week, around two-thirds of its states are skating by in the mid-70s on a 100-point scale. It’s a big, bulging bell curve, with 12 B’s, seven D’s … and zero A’s.

The closest to getting an A were those smartypantses from New Jersey, who ended the four-year reign of Massachusetts. But that’s less important than the report’s overall trends, which are borne out from the 39 financial, academic, and socioeconomic factors that the report comprises:

  • Per-pupil funding matters, especially when you can spread it evenly among the wealthier and poorer school districts (well done, Wyoming!)
  • Location matters: Most of the top states are clustered in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
  • Success matters: The better a state scores, the more likely it is to improve year after year.

As we scroll through this last wave of Back To School photos, it might be unsettling to think the schools our kids are going back to are mired in such mediocrity. And though most of the factors in the report are beyond our control, we parents can do a lot to support our kids at home, including read to them, talking with them, and building their mathematical concepts (with puzzles!).

And of course, you can always donate at Donors Choose, so your kid’s teacher doesn’t have to go broke buying school supplies with their own money (as a whopping 94% have to do).

Whatever you’re able to do, even if it’s just be present to take an interest in your kid’s day at school, is crucial. So that one day you can look at your child and say, “One day, you can be smarter than the president.”


Parents, when it comes to addressing discipline issues at school, are you and the educators on the same page?

What can you do when your child’s bully is your other child?

Teens today are facing a life of anxiety and competition, digital and otherwise.

“Boys who don’t like to play sports, or who aren’t good at them, are terribly disadvantaged growing up in a culture like ours that prizes physical prowess and a confident, macho bearing.”

“Young people are particularly vulnerable to the effect of painkillers.”

“The benefits of father play to a child’s academic performance are in addition to other benefits for the child’s emotional regulation, social adjustment and mental health.”

What concerts have you taken your kids to? Who is on the wish list?

Are your kids eating what you’re packing?

Summer may be ending, but the ghosts of camp ghost stories still remain, out there, somewhere.



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Photo Education Week.