A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement

By Anne Henderson, Karen Mapp
July 8, 2015

This often-cited report synthesizes over 50 research studies on the impact of family and community involvement on academic outcomes conducted between 1995 and 2002. The authors provide an overview synthesis of findings across the studies as well as a detailed summary of each individual study. The synthesis of the research studies found that parents of all ethnic and social backgrounds support their children’s education at home, but that more white middle-class families are involved at school. The studies showed that school efforts to engage families did have an impact if the activities were linked directly to student learning and if schools honor the differences of families. The report also explores how high-performing schools engage families, finding that the most successful focus is building trusting collaborative relationships with families; recognize and respect families’ unique needs, and cultural and class differences; and cultivate partnerships with shared power and responsibility. The report also looked at studies of the impact of community and parent led organizing which indicated that outside groups can put pressure on schools that lead to more student success.

Source Organization: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

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