- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -
Fathers Matter: Involved Dads Get an A+ for Increasing Academic Achievement
Posted By Sarah Torre On June 14, 2011 @ 12:52 pm In Education | Comments Disabled
Spending on education has skyrocketed over the past five decades, more than tripling  since the 1960s. But despite the ever-increasing taxpayer investment in education, American students’ academic achievement has flatlined.
While continuing the status quo of excessive spending does not increase educational gains, social science points to a strong correlation between parental involvement—especially from fathers—and increased academic success.
Fathers who spend more time with their children —going on outings, reading to their children, and showing regular interest in their children’s education—can impact their children’s academic attainment. For instance, individuals whose fathers demonstrated involvement with them as young children are more likely to reach higher levels of education . Even controlling for a mother’s involvement, the interest and attention given by a father to his adolescent’s education can significantly affect  the student’s success. Likewise, children whose dads regularly visit the classroom and meet with teachers tends to fare better  than children whose mothers are the only involved parent.
Married fathers  can have an especially significant impact on their children’s success in school. Children raised in intact, married families fare far better  than children from divorced or single-parent homes. Dads’ absence  from single-parent or cohabitating homes can lead to more behavioral problems and lower academic achievement. Married parents who are involved in their children’s lives and education, on the other hand, can influence academic success from early childhood development  to positive adolescent behavior and achievement .
In today’s economy of high-skilled jobs, a college degree is increasingly necessary for financial success. Children from stable, married families are 9 percent more likely to apply to college and 10 percentage points more likely to actually attend  college right out of high school than students from disrupted families. Dad and mom’s attention can make a difference even in less than ideal economic circumstances. Low-income children whose parents are regularly involved  in school activities tend to exhibit higher levels of academic achievement.
Instead of continuing to fund a wasteful and ineffectual federal education bureaucracy, policymakers should consider ways to promote marriage, encourage stable family formation , and give control of education back to the people who can make the most difference —parents and local leaders.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/06/14/fathers-matter-involved-dads-get-an-a-for-increasing-academic-achievement/
URLs in this post:
 more than tripling: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/07/Creating-a-Crisis-Spending-Increase-to-Fund-Bloated-Education-Bureaucracy
 who spend more time with their children: http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/25/why-fathers-matter
 a father to his adolescent’s education can significantly affect: http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/28/parental-involvement-and-childrens-academic-success
 fare better: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/09/academic-success-begins-at-home-how-children-can-succeed-in-school
 Married fathers: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/Married-Fathers-Americas-Greatest-Weapon-Against-Child-Poverty?query=Married+Fathers:+America%E2%80%99s+Greatest+Weapon+Against+Child+Poverty
 in intact, married families fare far better: http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/34/family-and-adolescent-well-being
 early childhood development: http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/23/strong-beginnings-how-families-bolster-early-educational-outcomes
 adolescent behavior and achievement: http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/35/family-structure-and-childrens-education
 promote marriage, encourage stable family formation: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/06/A-Marshall-Plan-for-Marriage-Rebuilding-Our-Shattered-Homes
 make the most difference: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/06/Reducing-the-Federal-Footprint-on-Education-and-Empowering-State-and-Local-Leaders
Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.