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Letters to Congress about new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 - Academic Parent-Teacher Teams

January 17, 2012

Dear Senator/Representative:


Academic Parent-Teacher Teams in Phoenix, Arizona, are one of 16 exemplary efforts profiled in Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0, a new research-based report on the role of families and communities in raising student achievement from the National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million educators nationwide.

Family School Partnerships 2.0 is part of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which aims to transform struggling schools — especially the bottom five percent eligible for U.S. Department of Education School Improvement Grants — in collaboration with parents, students, and community groups. Such efforts are most effective “when schools link activities for families to what students are learning and doing in class,” according to the report. 

Early results from the voluntary Phoenix program, started in the Creighton Elementary School District in 2008, are promising. More than 90 percent of teachers and parents participate, and students’ test scores have risen dramatically — by nearly 25 points, compared to 10 points for non-participants. The program is spreading to other districts in Arizona and beyond, including California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington, DC.

NEA members play an active role in all of the initiatives profiled in Family School Partnerships 2.0. Other common elements include mechanisms to evaluate student outcomes, reasonable cost, and potential for replication. Successful strategies identified by the researchers include:

  • Setting high expectations for students
  • Using data to determine priorities and strategies
  • Tailoring programs to local needs

The full profile of the Phoenix program is attached and available online at http://bit.ly/s4EZ5f, along with the rest of the report. We urge you to check it out!

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson  
Director, Center for Advocacy

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations