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Parent Engagement on Rise as Priority for Schools, Districts

Posted on 06/10/2015

Family Engagement

Family-engagement practitioners and researchers say educators are adopting systemic and sustained efforts to integrate parents into the fabric of their schools—a welcome shift for advocates who have complained of lip service but scant support for programs they say can have a big impact on student achievement.

In the past seven years, large and mid-sized school districts such as Denver and Nashville have created positions and departments specifically geared toward parent involvement, with a concurrent growth in related organizations, increased attendance at conferences, and a heightened interest from some philanthropic groups to fund parent-engagement efforts.

Meanwhile, states are including family-engagement in their teacher-evaluation systems or making it a requirement in other programs.

In Massachusetts, for example, family and community engagement is one of four standards within its teacher-evaluation rubric External link opens in new window or tab, which has led to the development of some parent-engagement professional development programs. California crafted a "family engagement framework" External link opens in new window or tab to help districts meet requirements in the state's new school funding law to include families in the school budget decision-making process.

And at the federal level, the U.S. Department of Education released a family- and community-engagement model External link opens in new window or tab in 2014 to encourage school districts and states to adopt parent-engagement efforts linked directly to student learning.

Read more about current practices, tools for parents and research in this Education Week article External link opens in new window or tab by Karla Scoon Reid External link opens in new window or tab.

Source: Education Week External link opens in new window or tab, Vol. 34, Issue 32, Page 9