Stacey Loscalzo

Dec 06

Better Parents

by Stacey

I love the blogosphere for so many reasons. One such reason is the monthly post titled, Roundup of Children’s Literacy and Reading News written by three incredibly talented women; Jen from Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Terry from the Family Bookshelf and Carol from Rasco for RIF.

This month’s post can (and should!) be found here.

While there are many, many tidbits to be taken from the post, what resonated for me the most was a link to the NY Times Op-Ed article How About Better Parents? by Thomas Friedman. Friedman’s premise is that all the energy that has been put into ‘teacher bashing’ over the past year might be better placed. To support his stand, he sites research based on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exams. These exams measure 15 year old’s reading comprehension and knowledge of math and science to solve real world problems. Beginning in 2006, researchers began to interview parents of test takers and to compare information gained during this interview to students test scores.

What they found will not be surprising to those of us who love literature and who love sharing this literature with our children. But it is still nice to have research on our side…

The article states:

“Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all. The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socioeconomic background. Parents’ engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated with better performance in PISA.”

So take a few minutes to read the Op-Ed and the Monthly Round-Up and then go read to your kids. It does and will make a difference.


  1. Meg Medina says:

    Hi Stacey! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated your nifty blog for a Liebster Award. You can see what I had to say on my blog: Enjoy!

  2. Jen Robinson says:

    Thanks so much for the roundup plug, Stacey. It’s nice to hear that someone like you, who cares so much about this subject, finds them useful.

    And I agree with you 100% about that particular op-ed piece. I wish there was a way to help parents everywhere to read it and internalize it. I know that Carol and Terry feel the same way. But talking about it on our blogs is a good start 😉

  3. It was so nice to see the props for the roundup and to know that folks take the time to read all those nuggets we collect.

    We can only hope that all who have followed Friedman and believe in his “earth is flat” theory” will look in the mirror and seize the moment … and a book to read with their kids, too!

  4. Thank you, Stacey, for your kind words regarding the roundup; I find working on it is a great way to keep myself more current than I would otherwise and to discipline myself to stop and think about some issues.

    I am so grateful to Friedman for the amount of time he has been spending in recent months on education and very practical discussions, not entirely academic…so encouraging, isn’t it, to keep up our drumbeats!

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