Low-income parents and the public schools
Date of Original Version
This article addresses the responses likely to be received by low-income parents from teachers and staff in their children's public schools in the United States. A review of the relevant literature reveals that teachers and school administrators tend to subscribe to the dominant beliefs that low-income parents do not care about their children's schooling, are not competent to help with homework, do not encourage achievement, and do not place a high value on education. This article presents examples of such middle-class bias in the words and actions of individual teachers, and research findings that tend to contradict these stereotypes. The barriers that exist for low-income parents in interacting with the schools are discussed, and suggestions are offered for ways in which schools can recognize and respect the standpoint and potential contributions of these parents.
Journal of Social Issues
Lott, B.. "Low-income parents and the public schools." Journal of Social Issues 57, 2 (2001): 247-259. doi:10.1111/0022-4537.00211.