How parent involvement affects student achievement

Posted by on September 19, 2011

On parental involvement

A new brief from the Center for Public Education looks at research concerning parental involvement in public schools, finding that partnerships between parents and schools that focus on academics can significantly impact student achievement. One researcher, Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University, divides successful school/parent involvement programs into six categories: parenting, in which schools help families with their parenting skills; communicating, or educating families about their child’s progress and school services; volunteering, which ranges from opportunities for parents to visit schools to recruiting and training them to work in the classroom; learning at home, in which schools share ideas to promote at-home learning through high expectations and strategies; decision-making, in which schools partner with families in organizations, advisory panels, and committees; and community collaboration, an outreach strategy in which community or business groups are involved in schools. A study by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory also found parental involvement programs that engaged families in supporting their children’s learning at home were linked to higher student achievement. However, the brief cautions that parent-involvement strategies, while important, are not a cure-all for a struggling school. The brief therefore recommends actions that school boards can take to cultivate various types of parental involvement.

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