Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Parents want what’s best for their children—they want to provide them with the best chance for success and the best opportunities, which means picking the right school is a priority.
However, a new study published by the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans suggests that parents don’t always choose schools solely based on academic prestige. Research found that “parents, especially low-income parents, actually show strong preferences for other qualities like location and extracurriculars,” according to NPR.
The majority of New Orleans children attend charter schools—9 out of 10—which leaves more room for choice than areas where public schools are most popular. Researchers established a few key findings when they analyzed the schools parents actually picked: distance from home, extracurriculars (especially for high schoolers), and available before- or after-school programs. These three factors were especially important for low-income families. Parents still cared about academics—but not as much as they said when interviewed about the topic.
While this study only reflects the choices of New Orleans parents, it’s likely that parents in other areas of the country make very similar decisions. Further research by the Education Research Alliance is in the works to establish if the same trends occur in other cities.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Image: Children getting on school bus via Shutterstock
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Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Have you ever taken to social media to vent your frustrations? One mom in Florida did just that — and what she wrote ended up getting her son expelled!
Running late to drop her son off for picture day at Sonshine Christian Academy last week, Ashley Habat told a school administrator that she felt the preschool should have given her more notice about the approaching picture day.
Afterwards, still upset, Ashley went home and posted on Facebook: “Why is that every single day, there is something new I dislikes about Will’s school? Are my standards really too high, or are people working in the education field really just that ignorant.” She tagged Sonshine in her post, but the next day, the school called her for a meeting to say that her son, Will, was going to be expelled.
“I was in shock,” Ashley told WJXT-TV. “Why would you expel a 4-year-old over something his mom posts on her private Facebook page [that] only people on her friends list can see?”
The letter of dismissal explained: “Your relationship with Sonshine did not get off to a very good start the first day of school … you utilized social media to call into question not only the integrity, but the intelligence of our staff. These actions are also consistent with sowing discord, which is spoken of in the handbook you signed.”
In a time when social media is at our fingertips and where mom bloggers often have vocal power, we’re wondering: Was Sonshine out of line? How do YOU think this situation should have been handled?
Also, take our quiz to find out how your child’s school stacks up.
Photo of woman using phone courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Parents shopping for clothes and supplies for their kids to take into the new school year may be approaching the task with less enthusiasm–and less willingness to spend–than in past years. Reuters reports that though national trends actually indicate increased spending on back-to-school, the timing and expense of it is changing for many families:
With parts of the country such as Atlanta already sending children back to class, the back-to-school season is in full swing and retailers remain hopeful that shoppers will turn out heading into the final stretch.
Kohl’s Corp. Chief Executive Kevin Mansell said the back-to-school season “has been more and more bridging August and September” based on his chain’s research and other data.
“We used to see people starting in late July, and I don’t see that as much anymore,” said Maureen Bausch, executive vice president of business development at the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota.
She expects people to finish their back-to-school shopping in September once kids see what is cool in the classroom.
Total back-to-college spending is expected to reach $53.5 billion this year, while total spending by families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade is expected to be $30.3 billion, the National Retail Federation said.
While the trade group expects the average American family to spend $688.62 on back-to-school shopping this year, a 14.1 percent increase from 2011, conversations with about a dozen shoppers across the country indicate a different story.
Image: Short pencil, via Shutterstock.
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