A study released last week uncovers a trend that should be alarming to all parents: for the first time ever, today’s American kids are less likely than their parents to graduate high school.
Among industrialized nations, the United States is the only country in which that is true. These results come from a new report released by The Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that advocates on the behalf of poor and minority children.
The report, “Counting on Graduation,” asserts that “policymakers in many states are setting graduation improvement targets that won’t get our young people—or our nation—ready to compete in the knowledge-driven world of the 21st century…. Thus far, most states have neglected to establish the high expectations for improving graduation rates that will prompt action.” See the press release from The Education Trust or download the full report here.
NCF CEO Carey Casey commented:
Dads, this is unacceptable. To borrow a word from author Juan Williams, ‘Enough!’ Williams directed his comments to the African American community, but this is a wake-up call for our entire culture. The federal and state governments are spending millions to help educate our children, but it isn’t working. We must realize that we can’t count on them or anyone else to take care of this.
I believe this situation is urgent—especially for dads! We have to stand up! We know from the research that a father’s involvement makes a positive difference in his children’s educational achievement, so we should consider ourselves a big part of the solution. We have to get involved, starting with day one in kindergarten, and impress upon our kids how important their education is. Our commitment has to be more than just words; it should be evident in our presence, our involvement. In our economy, education is a huge factor in the opportunities our children will have. We need to be aware of what’s going on in our children’s schools, and we need to be involved in what’s going on in their education—at school and at home. If they have plans and dreams about the future, we need to be there to help them make those plans and dreams come true. In the context of Championship Fathering, this is one way we coach our children.”
- Schedule a day to have lunch with your child at school (or preschool).
- Study your child—particularly his or her learning style. Here’s a great resource to help you. Share what you learn with your child’s teacher and see if his/her assessment agrees with yours.
- Talk with your children about what vocation they might pursue someday. Without any pressure or expectations, help them match their interests and talents to possible career paths.
- Plan a father-child “field trip” to expose your kids to something new in your community.
- Volunteer one day a year at your child’s school, like many dads who participate in our Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program.