“And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:8
A gardener knows well that plants grown in a poor environment with inadequate moisture, a deficiency of proper nutrients, and poorly cultivated soil, will not achieve the quality of production desired, no matter how carefully the gardener tends to the plants themselves.
For this reason, the gardener not only nurtures the plants by providing proper pruning, appropriate spacing, removal of weeds, and protection from pests, but also goes to great lengths to improve the soil in which the plants live, grow, or obtain their nourishment. In other words, the gardener cares both for the plants and their substrate.
Similarly, providing a high-quality education for students requires not only effective schools, great teaching, and parental choice, but also attention to the substrate in which students live and grow and from which they obtain their nourishment.
Achieving this nation’s public-school education goals will require attention to students’ school environment, but to their home and community environments as well.
The education literature is brimming with research and expert opinions supporting the concept that students’ home and community play a major role in their academic learning.
Research confirms that students are far more likely to be successful in school when their parents constantly express and exhibit the importance of education; check homework; have regular contact with teachers and school administration; attend school events; and have regular discussions with their children about school programs, activities, and classes.
Students who are fortunate enough to live in a home and community environment that consistently supports their educational learning have a heightened potential for academic success because they are rooted in good soil.