Parenting and Learning Issues

Each child learns differently. Here we offer resources on learning styles and the classroom models that support them, expert advice on how to improve learning, and tips on parental involvement.
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Dual Enrollment Programs for High School Students
Learn how high school students can benefits from dual enrollment programs in community colleges.
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to receive both high school and college credit for taking a college-level course. A 2007 study from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) concluded that dual enrollment programs have a positive effect on high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, college grades, and progress toward obtaining a college degree. This article examines dual enrollment programs and the benefits they afford.
The number of dual admission programs has increased significantly over the past few years. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 1.2 million students participated in dual enrollment programs during the 2002-03 academic year. Approximately 71 percent of public high schools offered dual enrollment programs.
More than half of all colleges and universities allowed high school students to take classes for college credit. Community colleges are enthusiastic sponsors of dual enrollment programs. About 98 percent of public community colleges had dual enrollment programs in 2002-03. For public four-year universities, the number is 77 percent. Private community colleges and four-year institutions offer fewer dual enrollment opportunities than their public counterparts.
How Do Dual Enrollment Programs Work?
The requirements of dual admission programs vary considerably nationwide. The following characteristics are common:
? Only certain lower-level college courses are approved for dual credit. Remedial classes, physical education, and music courses are typically excluded from the programs.
? Academic standards are imposed on participants, including minimum grade point averages and standardized test scores.
? Students receive both credit toward high school graduation and college credit for approved courses.
? Courses may be offered
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The Pros and Cons of Tutoring & Supplemental Education
Learn about the pros and cons of personal tutors, learning centers and other types of supplemental education.
Many children struggle with school. Sometimes these problems are caused by a lack of interest, while other times it may be created by learning challenges that your child faces. If your child is having difficulty in school, this does not mean the child cannot ultimately succeed. There are many ways to help your child overcome academic hurdles. In fact, one of the solutions to overcoming academic problems is to have your child work with a tutor.
However, before you hire a private tutor, or sign your child up at the local learning center, you should first confirm whether your child truly needs the one-on-one attention the tutor provides.
How do I know if my child needs a tutor?
First, before you even hire a tutor or visit a learning center, you should determine whether or not your child needs a tutor. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Are your child’s grades slipping?
  • Is your child obtaining great grades, but not feeling challenged at school?
  • Is your child displaying low self- esteem, or thinking negatively about himself or herself in regards to school   performance?
  • Does your child’s teacher think he or she may need a tutor, or sends notes home indicting he or she may need help with his or her homework?
  • Does a college your child wants to attend require high scores on tests to be accepted?
If the answer to any of these questions is, “yes,” these are signs that a one-to-one tutor may be useful to help your child to enjoy learning. A tutor may also be especially helpful if your
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Understanding the National PTA
Learn about how the national PTA works and interacts with your local PTA.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. From its small beginning in 1897, the PTA has emerged as a powerful voice for children at the national, state, and local levels. This article describes the role of the National PTA and discusses how the organization assists parents and teachers working together at the local level.
The PTA has been instrumental in the passage of several ground-breaking initiatives for the welfare of children, including child labor laws, the juvenile justice system, hot lunch programs, mandatory immunizations, and kindergarten classes. Its purpose has always been to better the lives of children by:
  • Serving as a voice for children before government and other decision-making bodies
  • Developing resources for families and communities
  • Advancing the education and well-being of every child
Some of the strategies that the PTA uses in accomplishing its purpose are:
  • Promoting the welfare of children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship
  • Raising the standards of home life
  • Recommending laws for the care and protection of children and youth
  • Bringing parents and educators together so that they can work effectively for the education of children and youth
Promoting Pro-Child Policies
The National PTA speaks out to Congress and the general public about issues affecting children and their education. Subjects currently being addressed at the national level include parental involvement, serving special needs and disadvantaged children, and promoting sound nutrition.
The PTA recommends more accountability to parents. Parental involvement in children's education is a primary theme of the PTA because students perform better
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Understanding Your Local PTA
Learn about how your local PTA works and how getting involved can help your community.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a nationwide network of parents and teachers working together in national, state, and local organizations to improve the lives of children. Membership at the local level is open to anyone who has an interest in children. There are now close to 6 million members in 23,000 local chapters. Joining the PTA is an excellent way for parents to get involved in their children's education. Local PTAs throughout the country are making a difference in the quality of children's education.
A local PTA chapter is part of a national network of organizations working together for children's interests. Most parents join a local unit, which automatically gives them membership in the state and national PTAs. The local unit can represent a single school or a group of schools. Local units have autonomy to establish their own priorities, select the national programs in which they will participate, assess the needs of the school, and decide how to raise needed funds.
Local units frequently hold fundraisers, the proceeds from which go to support school programs, building maintenance or improvements, and educational events. The following are examples of how local PTAs can improve a child's education.
? The children at Washington Elementary School in San Gabriel, California, are enjoying their art classes once again this year, thanks to a $6,000 donation by the school's PTA. Art is not a required subject in the district, so no state funding was available. Knowing that there will be further cuts in the California
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Public School Uniforms:  The Pros and Cons for Your Child
Should students wear uniforms? Learn more about the pros and cons of uniform policies in public schools.
The prevalence of uniforms in public schools continues to rise in the United States, as parents and school administrators exert efforts to keep our schools safe environments. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 20%  of all public schools have adopted uniform mandates. Approximately 22% of elementary schools, 19% of all middle schools, and 10% of high schools currently require uniforms, and this trend continues to accelerate. 
Although uniforms have been a mainstay of private schools, public schools didn’t jump on the bandwagon until 1994, when the Long Beach California School District integrated school uniforms to address safety issues challenging the district. According to the school district data, within one year after the implementation of uniforms, the fights and muggings at school decreased by 50%, while sexual offenses were reduced by 74%. Across the country, similar statistics abound; for example, at Ruffner Middle School in Norfolk, VA, the number of discipline referrals decreased by 42% once uniforms were enforced. 
Fueled by these statistics, more schools across the country are requiring  uniforms in their public schools, naming school safety as their primary motivation. Even with these compelling statistics, however, there are other statistics that argue that uniforms are not as beneficial as school administrators and parents are encouraged to believe. Opponents cite research that shows a lack of individualism and comfort among students, working to actually decrease student learning and success. Thus, the question still remains: are public school uniforms good for your child? 
The Benefits of Public School Uniforms: Safer Learning
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Parenting and Learning Issues

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Parental Involvement from K-12

Learn how direct involvement in your child’s education can impact school performance. Get expert advice on how to get involved, learn why and when you need to talk to a teacher and ways to make changes on campus.


An overview of bullying in schools, laws to protect students, and the impact on education. This section provides great tips on protecting your child from being bullied or becoming a bully. Learn about the latest anti-bullying laws and see how cyber-bullying effects your child’s school performance.

Types of Learning

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Kindergarten and Elementary Issues

Weigh the pros and cons of preschool, full day kindergarten and other issues affecting our youngest learners. Learn what can be done to help your child prepare to enter school, boost confidence, and encourage reading at the grade school level.

High School Issues

Learn more about issues specific to high school students. Get an overview of high school graduation rates, college readiness, career choice and social issues impacting teenagers in public schools.