'Does it pay to obsess on where your kid goes to school?’

The Washington Post

In a recent blog post for the Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet,” Jack Schneider, assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, discusses parents’ preoccupation with choosing the perfect school for their child. Calling their quests “obsessive” and “almost entirely unnecessary,” Schneider credits sixty  percent of in-school achievements to “out-of-school factors.” He shifts the focus from the significance of a rigorous school to the role of parents in a student’s overall success, noting a student’s sense of academic orientation and concern as a reflection of the values of their parents.

“It means that the home environment matters greatly in a child’s educational development.  Going to the library, for instance, does far more for a kid than plopping her down in front of the television,” Schneider writes.  “It means that some children are far more prepared to get something out of their school experiences.  Most students, after all, wring only a fraction of school’s value from it.  Some parents, however, help their children get more out of school by talking with them, cultivating good study habits, setting up quiet spaces for homework, and encouraging their children to read.”

Schneider is currently participating in a civil debate about education reform with former chancellor of the Washington D.C. public schools, Michelle Rhee, in Education Week’s blog, “K-12 Schools: Beyond the Rhetoric.”

Read the full post on the Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet” blog.

This is “Holy Cross in the New” item by Evangelia Stefanakos ’14.