Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Report Finds Parental Involvement Crucial to Student Success

The authors of the No Child Left Behind Act focused on four cornerstones as they started to draft the bill: assessment, disaggregating data; accountability; and parental involvement. This last pillar is crucial to student success, said Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Wednesday at the release of a national report by Appleseed.  The report, "It Takes a Parent: Transforming Education in the Wake of the No Child Left Behind Act," is based on research from 18 school districts in six states on practices in parental involvement. The report found that effective parental engagement is one of the most important factors in students' success in school, but that it is often overlooked.  Other findings include: there is a lack of clear and timely information for parents about their children and schools; limited English proficiency and poverty are among the biggest barriers to parental involvement; and school leaders often do not value parental involvement as an accountability strategy. Arthur Coleman, partner and co-leader of Holland & Knight's education policy team - which performed most of the research and drafted the final report - said parental involvement is hard to measure but that good benchmarks for accountability can be set. The report provides five areas in which improvement is needed to increase parental involvement and for policymakers to consider going into reauthorization: quality of information provided to parents; proactive, targeted engagement strategies; community support; professional development on the issue; and better implementation and stronger accountability.   For more information, visit

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