Letters to Congress about new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 - Hispanic Parents Council
January 17, 2012
The Hispanic Parents Council at Capt. James E. Daly Jr. Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland, is 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.
The Hispanic Parents Council has supported and shaped a number of school-based initiatives, including a summer program that encourages rapport with parents, afterschool programs that involve community partnerships, and monthly computer workshops for parents, conducted in Spanish. Evidence of the effectiveness of this approach includes significant improvement in student behavior — for example, the number of referrals declined from more than 300 in 2009-2010 to 98 in 2010-2011.
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
Director, Center for Advocacy
Director, Government Relations