Family and Community Involvement: Achievement Effects
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Family and Community Involvement: Achievement Effects

Conducted by: Joyce L. Epstein, Mavis G. Sanders, Steven B. Sheldon, Johns Hopkins University, Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships

Released: June 2007 (Download pdf)

Overview: This report looks at the progress of a five-year, longitudinal study of the effects of the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) intervention model to increase and improve family and community involvement to support student achievement in reading, math and science. The Main Study includes a sample of 50 districts and 400 schools, including elementary, middle and high schools in urban, suburban and rural communities across the United States. This study focuses on the effects of district policies and leadership on the quality of school programs and practices of family and community involvement, and the contribution of school, family and community partnerships to student achievement.

Updates on three special focus studies are also included:

  • Understanding the Nature and Effects of District Leadership on School Programs of Partnerships.
  • Experimental Study of the Effects of Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) Interactive Homework on Student Achievement in Math, Reading/Language Arts and Science.
  • Effects of the Quality of School Programs of Partnership on Parent Social Networks and their Impact on Student Achievement in Reading, Math and Science.

Key Findings:

Implementation and Effectsof Family and Community Involvement on Student Achievement in Reading, Math and Science:

  • Specific district leadership actions for family and community involvement independently affected the quality of schools’ partnership programs over and above the work of the school-based efforts.
  • District leadership can help schools do more to set up their basic program structures and plans and to conduct more outreach to involve all families.
  • Principals’ support and schools’ recognition of assistance from their districts contribute to the quality of schools’ partnership programs.

Understanding the Nature and Effects of District Leadership on School Programs of Partnerships:

  • District leaders can use data to improve and sustain their work on partnerships.
  • District leaders use the NNPS framework and core principles to work collaboratively with community-based involvement organizations to increase connections and bridge the power divide that keeps many families on the periphery of schools, family and community partnerships.
  • District leaders play a key role in supporting parent liaison positions that seek to improve home-school relations in culturally diverse schools.

Experimental Study of the Effects of Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) Interactive Homework on Student Achievement in Math, Reading/Language Arts and Science:

  • TIPS use was associated with more positive family feelings about math and language arts.
  • TIPS students and families reported higher levels of family involvement in math and reading/language arts homework than control students and families.
  • TIPS students earned higher standardized math test scores than control students.

Effects of the Quality of School Programs of Partnership on Parent Social Networks and their Impact on Student Achievement in Reading, Math and Science:

  • The social ties and relationships that parents maintain with other parents predicted the parents’ involvement at school, monitoring their children’s schoolwork, involvement with reading and involvement with math.
  • Parents’social networks may produce social capital that parents use to more actively support their children’s education and to guide students’ education and achievement.
  • Students with parents who were more involved at school and who more closely monitored their schoolwork at home felt more confident about their own ability to succeed in school.
  • School outreach helped increase parental involvement in the middle grades.
  • Parental involvement is associated with student motivation and attitutes toward the school.
  • Students reporting more parent involvement at home also reported higher levels of self-competence. Students’ self-competence predicted higher levels of achievement across subject matter, from one year to the next.

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