The vast majority of parents believe their children are performing at or above grade level in both reading and math. According to nationally representative data from nonprofit parent advocacy organization Learning Heroes, across race, class, income and education levels, 90% of parents think their children are proficient in these two subjects.

Educators know the reality is very different. National data indicates about 33% of students are proficient in math and 34% are proficient in reading.

The 2016 Learning Heroes survey report — soon to be followed up with the 2017 version — provides a useful touchstone for school districts in their parent engagement efforts. Yoni Geffen, manager of family and empowerment and academic partnership at the Denver Public Schools Office of Family and Community Engagement, said the huge disparity in actual and perceived performance is striking.

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