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Letters to Congress about new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 - Compadres in Education

January 17, 2012

Dear Senator/Representative:


Compadres in Education at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,
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.

Compadres in Education began in 2007 with a series of community conversations convened by NEA and the Oklahoma Education Association. In response to concerns voiced by parents, the school added bilingual staff, began distributing course descriptions in Spanish as well as English, and instituted a quarterly Hispanic Family Night featuring a specific topic — for example, the economic value of higher education. Since the program’s inception, the graduation rate among Hispanic students has risen by nearly 70 percent.

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 Compadres in Education 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