For any PTO leader out there slogging away to encourage parent involvement, it looks like your hard work is paying off.

A new national survey shows that parent engagement has significantly increased in recent years. That finding fortifies long-standing research that shows parent involvement has a direct impact on student’s performance and attitudes about school as well as teachers’ overall job satisfaction.

PTO and PTA leaders have long focused on parent involvement and often consider it their top goal to build community and encourage parent participation.

The results of this new survey, sponsored by MetLife and conducted by Harris Interactive, show that almost half (46%) of students report their parents visit their school at least once a month. That’s a 16% increase from when that question was first asked of students in the MetLife survey in 1988.

The survey also showed that 64% of students said they talk to their parents about school every day, a 14% increase from that same late 1980s survey.

Significantly, while teachers surveyed this year reported a 15% overall decline in job satisfaction from 2009, those teachers with the highest job satisfaction ratings were also most likely to report greater parent involvement.

This year, Harris Interactive polled 1,001 public school teachers, 1,086 parents and 947 students. From that group, 91% of teachers and 80% of parents said schools help parents support students and 83% of students said parents and teachers work together to help them do well in school.

Those numbers reinforce years of research that shows students benefit when their parents are involved.  The research shows kids will get better grades, improve their social skills and have an overall more positive attitude about school.

So parents, your numbers are getting bigger—you clearly are doing something right!