Barack Obama has improved the schools without lifting a finger. USA Today reports that the "Obama Effect"—the idea that Obama's election has powerfully motivated African Americans to engage within their communities—has affected parental volunteering. A survey released Thursday by a San Francisco nonprofit promoting parental involvement found that 60 percent of African-American parents said they'll volunteer at their kids' schools, compared to 23 percent a year ago, a jump of 37 percent. Over the same period, white parents planning to volunteer rose from 47 percent to 53 percent. The jump is attributed to several speeches in which Obama urged parents to turn of the TV, read to their kids, and go to parent-teacher conferences.