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Last Updated: 02/23/2018

Article of Interest - Parental Involvement

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Bridges4Kids LogoParents Need More Ways to Communicate With Teachers, Survey Says
EPIC-MRA Survey for Your Child, May 3, 2004

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LANSING, Mich.--Michigan parents are very involved in their child’s school (95%), but time and work constraints are limiting their contact with teachers and their participation in the classroom—the frontline of education.


Only 34 percent are able to regularly communicate with their child’s teacher and most often it is done by phone (30%) or at the parent-teacher conference (30%).


According to the survey of 1,000 parents and primary caregivers, nearly two-thirds do not communicate regularly with their child’s teacher and only about one in five (22%) communicate in person. The survey was done by EPIC-MRA for a new group called Your Child, a coalition of family and education organizations.


“Parents want to be effective communicators with their child’s teacher,” said Donna Oser, Michigan PTSA administrative director and member of Your Child. “But with busy schedules and limited access to teachers it is difficult. We need to find a way to work together.”


The data show, however, that the foundation for better communication is strong:


  • Parents believe they should be a part of the classroom education (90%). They also believe more communication is the best way to encourage more parental involvement (37%).

  • Parents believe they should participate in planning the curriculum and policy for the school (80%). 

  • Schools must work to expand their communication because most of parent time is on homework help (41%), attending sports (18%) and other activities (11%) and volunteering (14%).

  • Although, behavior is the top reason parents talk to teachers (27%). Parents see the biggest issue facing the schools is funding (25%). They also believe schools need smaller class sizes to improve the learning environment for students (19%).

  • Parents seek out information on parenting (67%) but aren’t getting it from their schools or teachers (only 16%).

  • Parents believe teachers should discipline students and teach them right from wrong (80%).


The survey was conducted by EPIC-MRA April 5-22 for a new group called Your Child. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1-percent.


The data is the second of three releases planned this month and next by the newly formed group called Your Child. The group consists of the The Michigan Federation of Teachers & School Related Personnel (MFT&SRP), the Michigan PTSA, the Michigan Education Association (MEA) the Middle Cities Education Association, the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, the Michigan Association of School Administrators, Michigan’s Children, the Department of Human Services, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, and Cyberstate.


Next week Your Child will release the views of both teachers and parents on parenting and social issues that impact student learning and school success.


Additional findings:


Who is most involved and communicating?


When asked how often are you communicating with your child’s teacher 35% of all parents said they communicated at least once a week.


Who communicated most?

Single parents 47%

HH Income under $45,000 44%

Parents 40 and younger 46%

Detroit City  46%

African Americans 48%

Private/Parochial schools  54%

Charter Schools 56%


Who claims most involved in children’s education?

All parents very involved 76%

Private/parochial 89%

Charter 89%

Public School  75%

Detroit City 81%

Northern Michigan  87%

Under age 40 85%

Single Parents 81%

College educated 84%


Click here to view the data (PDF; size=234k).

Click here to view the questionnaire (PDF; size=302k).


Contact: Ed Sarpolus, EPIC-MRA 517-331-3313; Beth Thoreson, MFT-SRP, 313-393-2200; Donna Oser, MPTSA, 517-485-4345 or cell 517-420-7637; Margaret Trimer-Hartley, MEA 517-337-5508


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