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When Bill and Dr. Poussaint take questions from the studio audience, Angela, a Head Start teacher in Chicago, says she has grown frustrated in her attempts to get parents involved in students' schoolwork. "I just wanted to ask Dr. Cosby if he has any suggestions?" she says.

Bill says he learned one way from a student teacher whom he met at Florida A&M University. "She said, 'What I do is, when the bell rings, the child that I'm interested in at the time, I follow that child out of the building. The child usually leads me to an adult. And I say, "Hi, I'm So-and-so's teacher. And who are you? I've been trying to reach you all this time."' So maybe you might try that."

Angela's struggles remind Oprah of Ron Clark, the recipient of the 2000 Outstanding Teacher of the Year award for his commitment to education in Harlem. Before the semester would begin, Ron went to the parents of his incoming student to let them know what he expected. "He's a young white guy. And he said at first, the parents thought he was crazy," Oprah says. "Once they realize how much you really care, for a lot of them, it encourages them to care."
FROM: Bill Cosby Calls Out the "Dirty Laundry"
Published on October 17, 2007