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Research & Reports

Parent Outreach

Bridging the Gaps to Success: Promising Practices for Promoting Transfer Among Low-Income and First-Generation Students

Author: Smith, C.T., Miller, A., & Bermeo, C.A. The Pell Institute

Summary: With Obama’s goal of all Americans having completed high school and one year of post-secondary education by 2020 there is increased pressure on community colleges. It is vital that community colleges increase their retention and preparation of students so they can successfully transfer to a 4 year institution. This report analyzes 6 Texas schools with high transfer rates in order to better understand “the institutional characteristics, practices, and policies that might contribute to assuring that students matriculate and excel in community college and transfer to four-year institutions.”

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Tags: Intervention; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Transfer of Literacy Skills;

Target Population: Post-secondary

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are the promising practices for transferring students from two-year to four-year institutions?

Findings:
A Structured Academic Pathway:

  • Institutional Articulation Agreements
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Developmental coursework initiatives
  • Active learning
A Student-Centered Culture:
  • Customer service forums
  • Trio Student Support Services (SSS)
  • Specialized advising
  • Flexible scheduling
  • First-year Seminar
  • Learning communities
  • Student engagement in campus life
A Culturally-sensitive Leadership:
  • Staff and faculty role modeling
  • Strategic planning
  • Outreach

Smith, C.T., Miller, A., & Bermeo, C.A. (2009). Bridging the Gaps to Success-Promising Practices for Promoting Transfer Among Low-Income and First-Generation Students. The Pell Institute. Retrieved January 10, 2011 from: http://www.pellinstitute.org/pdf/COE_Pell_Report_layout_3.pdf

Building Collaboration Between Schools and Parents of English Language Learners: Transcending Barriers, Creating Opportunities

Author: Harry, B., Waterman, R. (2008). Building Collaboration Between Schools and Parents of English Language Learners: Transcending Barriers, Creating Opportunities. National Institute for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems.

Summary:

Parents of English Language Learners (ELLs) represent a vital source of support for increased student engagement and achievement; they bring skills, values and knowledge that would benefit both students and teachers. Most importantly, they bring profound commitment and motivation: The majority of the parents of ELLs have come to the United States in order that they and their children will have a "better life." And many of these families quickly come to believe that supporting their children's educational attainment is central to turning this dream into a reality. This brief discusses how to build collaboration between schools and parents of ELLs.

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Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses: How can schools collaborate with parents of English language learners?

Findings:

  • Analysis of research and practice illuminates several factors that contribute to the paradoxical views of ELL parents and their involvement in their children's schools and education. Each of these factors pertains to having the means and opportunity for viable parent-school collaboration, in relation to: school-initiated efforts to build partnerships with parents; language; comprehensible information about U.S. schools and culturally and linguistically diverse families; special concerns related to special education referral and placement; immigrant isolation; legal status.
  • Parents of ELLs represent a vital source of support for increased student engagement and achievement; they bring skills, values and knowledge that would benefit both students and teachers.
  • At the outset, however, it is important to understand that ELL parent–school collaboration cannot be approached in the same ways that parent involvement has traditionally been understood and implemented in schools. The experiences, strengths and needs of this population are different, as are the vehicles for inviting school engagement and relationships with school staff.
  • Ultimately, the possibilities are promising and compelling. If schools devote time and resources toward developing new ways of understanding and approaching parent-school collaboration, they will generate a strong and cohesive source of support for increased ELL school engagement and success, as well as increased satisfaction for parents and school staff.

Policy Recommendations:

  • School principals provide explicit support for parent involvement work.
  • Initiate effective communication with parents.
  • Offer parents an English as a second language class or a family literacy program.
  • Create and support parent leadership development.
  • Create and support a district-level parent-school advisory council.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Arizona State University P.O. Box 872011 Tempe, Arizona 85287-2011

Harry, B., Waterman, R. (2008). Building Collaboration Between Schools and Parents of English Language Learners: Transcending Barriers, Creating Opportunities. National Institute for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems.

Diverse Children: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in America's New Non-Majority Generation

Author: The Foundation for Child Development: Hernandez, D. & Napierala, J.S.

Summary:

By 2018, it is projected that over half of all children in the U.S. will be minority, non-white children. The increasing diversity of the population makes socioeconomic and educational disparities between racial/ethnic groups all the more striking. Poverty and unemployment disproportionately affect black and Hispanic families, putting them at a social and educational disadvantage.

To address these issues, the authors of this study, published by the Foundation for Child Development, investigated how race/ethnicity, parent immigration status, and home language contribute to children's social, economic, physical, and educational well-being. In the process, they also found that children across the U.S., regardless of background, are performing at critically low levels on fourth grade reading and math assessments. Proposed policy reforms are outlined, including investing in the nation's children by increasing their access to high quality pre-kindergarten and health care.

Note: This is the first report to discuss child well-being across White, Hispanic, Black, and Asian race-ethnic groups, while also considering the possible effect of parents' status as immigrants or non-immigrants.

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Tags: Language Proficiency; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Reading; Rights, Parents; Rights, Students; Struggling Readers;

Target Population: Hispanic, Asian, black, and white children from immigrant and non-immigrant families

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • Considering health, economic, social, and educational factors, what is known about the well-being of children in the United States?
  • How does this vary according to race/ethnicity and immigration status?
  • What federal reforms should be made to improve the lives of these children?

Findings:

  1. While one fourth of the nation's children have parents who are immigrants, 89% of these children are American citizens.
  2. Children of immigrants are just as likely to have a parent with stable employment and more likely (than those with U.S.-born parents) to live in a two-parent family, have been born at a healthy weight, and survive their first year of life. At the same time, they are less likely to attend pre-kindergarten and have health insurance.
  3. At 19% and 15%, respectively, Hispanic and black children with immigrant parents are far less likely to have health insurance. Additionally, they have the highest child mortality rate and are more likely than their Asian and white counterparts to live in poverty and/or have an unemployed parent.
  4. Only half of eligible children nationwide were enrolled in a pre-kindergarten program. Those with U.S.-born parents were more likely to attend, and Hispanic children from immigrant families were the least likely to be enrolled.
  5. In households where the primary language was not English, 83% of both black and Hispanic fourth graders could not read proficiently. For white children in this category, 65% scored below proficient in reading, as did 51% Asian children, even in English-speaking households. In math, 35-84% of fourth graders in all racial/ethnic groups were below proficient.

Policy Recommendations:

  1. Expand access to high-quality early childhood education. Establish a cohesive curriculum spanning pre-kindergarten to third grade to develop children's literacy skills before the fourth grade.
  2. At the federal and state level, ensure that all children, including the roughly one million who are undocumented, are covered by health insurance.
  3. Maintain and strengthen economic and social services such as tax provisions and credits, temporary assistance, and nutrition programs  for immigrant as well as low-income non-immigrant families.
  4. Fund English literacy programs for immigrant parents to allow them to pursue employment opportunities and communicate with classroom teachers about their child's progress and needs.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Foundation for Child Development 295 Madison Avenue, 40th floor New York, NY 10017 Phone: (212) 867-5777 Fax: (212) 867-5844 www.fcd-us.org

Hernandez, D. & Napierala, J.S.(2013). Diverse children: Race, ethnicity, and immigration in America's new non-majority generation. New York, NY: The Foundation for Child Development.

Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families

Author: Lynn Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez. The Future of Children. Princeton University. Brookings Institute.

Summary: Lynn Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez examine the current role of and future potential for early care and education (ECE) programs in promoting healthy development for immigrant children. Participation in center-based care and preschool programs has been shown to have substantial short–term benefits and may also lead to long–term gains as children go through school and enter adulthood. Yet, overall, immigrant children have lower rates of participation in nonparental care of any type, including center-based ECE programs, than their native counterparts. Much of the participation gap can be explained by just a few economic and sociodemographic factors: affordability, availability, and access to ECE programs, along with language barriers, bureaucratic complexity, and distrust of government programs, especially among undocumented immigrants. The authors conclude with suggestions for policymakers for improving ECE participation rates among immigrant children.

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Tags: Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Rights, Parents; Rights, Students;

Target Population: Early Education

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • What is the current role of early education among immigrant children?
  • What is the future potential?

Findings:

  • For infants, toddlers, and preschool–age children, immigrants have lower rates of participation in any nonparental care and center–based care, though participation varies greatly based on geographic region and county of origin.
  • Comparing immigrant and native children, the participation gap for three–year–olds is smaller than that for four–year–olds; additionally, early education participation increases with age. These findings suggest a narrowing gap, which may be a result of expansion of state–funded programs.
  • Among those in care, preschool–age immigrant children are as likely as native children, if not more likely, to be in center–based ECE programs, especially if one looks at the arrangement where children spend the most time.
  • Much of the participation gap can be explained by just a few economic and sociodemographic factors, such as low parental education or low family income. Thus, lower use of care may result not from being an immigrant child per se but from factors associated with disadvantaged groups.
  • The data for California indicate that center–based care environments are falling short of benchmarks associated with high–quality care for both immigrant and native preschool–age children alike. Though these results may not extend to other states, at least in the state with the largest share of immigrant children, so ECE quality needs to be improved.
  • Well–designed targeted programs serving infants and toddlers can produce short–term developmental benefits, but findings are ambiguous as to longer–term gains for school performance and adult outcomes.
  • Immigrant children face many different barriers to participating in early education programs: structural, informational and bureaucratic, cultural, and those caused by misperceptions.

Policy Recommendations:
To improve ECE access and quality, policy makers can consider options that pertain both to disadvantaged children in general, as well as to immigrant children in particular.

  • Publicly funded universal provision of ECE would benefit all children, including and especially immigrant children because it would remove issues of affordability, and, moreover, eligibility.
  • Geographic targeting could be especially effective in assisting immigrant children because it would give eligibility regardless of legal status, and could encompass whole ethnic neighborhoods.
  • Language–accessible communication strategies
  • Development of formal peer–to–peer networks for immigrant parents
  • Applications for ECE could be improved by: streamlining paperwork; translated paperwork; applications that ask for SSN of child instead of parent.
  • Professional development of teachers and staff, ie cultural competency, teaching ELLs, foreign language acquisition
  • Implementation of curricula and other practices that support English learners.

Karoly, L., Gonzalez, G. (2011). "Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families." Immigrant Children 21 (1). The Future of Children. Retrieved from: http://www.futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=74&articleid=541.

Educational and Mothering Discourses and Learner Goals: Mexican Immigrant Women Enacting Agency in a Family Literacy Program

Author: Toso, B.W. Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy.

Summary:

This study examined how Mexican immigrant women enrolled in a family literacy program used mainstream ideas of mothering and parent involvement in education to pursue their own personal and academic goals. Like other adult learners (Perry & Purcell-Gates, 2005), these mothers appropriated dominant parenting and educational discourses in the U.S. to justify furthering their education, to support their future goals, to create new identities, and to demonstrate their mothering abilities. Participants negotiated multiple identities such as mother, wife, and woman by combining discourses of raising a literate child and being a good mother. At other times these identities conflicted with achieving some of their goals. The study offers adult education scholars and practitioners alternative ways of understanding learners, their goals, and pathways to achieving these goals.

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Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are some alternative ways of understanding learners, their goals, and pathways to achieving these goals?

Findings:

  • The findings revealed that women were at times faced with the dilemma of choosing between Mexican ideas about mothering and those embedded in the family literacy program.
  • However, they also used family literacy discourses to justify their educational pursuits, gain power and prestige in their nuclear and extended families, work toward more equitable gender relationships in the home, set goals, expand their identity, and participate in mainstream society.
  • Furthermore, participation in family literacy classes helped to support their children's academic success.
  • Lastly, participants combined U.S. and Mexican discourses to reflect their ideas of good mothering and demonstrate their mothering abilities.

Policy Recommendations:

    For practitioners and administrators:
  • Identify differences and similarities between learners' notions of mothering and education and those underlying program curricula and educators' belief systems. Discuss these differences and similarities with learners so they can better understand the taken-for-granted rules of mainstream society and institutions.
  • Involve learners in program and curricular decisions so that their goals and desires can be represented. This can also enhance their self-esteem and prestige outside the classroom.
  • Develop learning plans with students to identify their goals and barriers to, and benefits of, attending classes.
  • For policy makers:
  • Support family literacy funding since it provides programming that enables mothers to enroll in adult education and fulfill their role as a Good Mother, oftentimes perceived as the primary and most important role for women, thereby eliminating the need for women to choose between the two.
  • Identify and use language that portrays immigrant mothers as having skills and knowledge that benefit the local U.S. community.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy 401D Keller Building, University Park, PA 16802

Toso, B.W. (2012). Educational and Mothering Discourses and Learner Goals: Mexican Immigrant Women Enacting Agency in a Family Literacy Program.Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy.

Effect of School Mobility on Student Outcomes

Author: Lisa Eddy. University of Kentucky.

Summary: Student mobility and its relationship to academic success have been researched since World War II with varied findings (Goebel, 1978). Establishing the relationship between mobility and achievement is difficult due to the fact that mobility is related to many factors. Mobility has been found to be prevalent among students who traditionally demonstrate achievement gaps (specifically students of low-income status) (Long, 1992; Smith, Fien & Paine, 2008). Mobility's relationship to achievement is complex. Led by a single definition of mobility, admittance to more than one school in the given district over the period of one academic year, this research study sought to determine the effect of mobility on academic achievement. Specifically, the research focused on mobility's effect on students classified as low–income and the effect of school mobility level on academic achievement of its students. This study used a quantitative design; student records were obtained for mobility data, and criterion referenced test scores in mathematics and language arts were utilized to measure academic achievement. Findings revealed that mobile students performed below non-mobile students, low–income status affected mobile students negatively, and mobility level of the school attended had a negative effect on the academic achievement of its students.

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Tags: Intervention; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Struggling Readers;

Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • Is there a difference in academic achievement between mobile and non-mobile students?
  • Is there a difference in academic achievement of mobile students who are low–income versus mobile students who are not? Does the effect of mobility on academic achievement vary according to student's income level?
  • Are there differences in academic achievement of fourth grade students based on the mobility level of the school they attend?

Findings:

  • A significant difference was found between academic achievement of mobile and non–mobile students, in both math and language arts.
  • Economically disadvantaged students were found to suffer greater (negative) effects from mobility than students that were not categorized as economically disadvantaged.
  • Mean mobility level of school was found to (negatively) affect academic outcomes.
  • One explanation for the reduced academic performance is loss of social capital (ie lack of social support and low parental involvement).

Policy Recommendations:

  • Mobility rates are higher among elementary school children than high school students, and there is greater mobility within the same district. Therefore policies considered for implementation to help mobile students should begin at the elementary level.
  • Educators should consider developing protocols that identify students in need of additional support and provide relevant programs appropriate to address student needs.
  • Educators should have a system in place that: (a) monitors student records to ensure appropriate placement; (b) provides both social and academic support for new students; (c) provides support for parents and families new to the school; and (d) provides support in developing curricula for transitioning students.

Eddy, Lisa, "THE EFFECT OF STUDENT MOBILITY ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT" (2011). Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 177.

Effective Instruction for English Learners

Author: Margarita Calderon, Robert Slavin, Marta Sanchez. The Future of Children. Princeton University. The Brookings Institute.

Summary: Margarita Calderon, Robert Slavin, and Marta Sanchez identify the elements of effective ELL instruction and review a variety of successful program models, including bilingual versus English–only versus ESL instruction. They highlight comprehensive reform models, as well as individual components of these models: school structures and leadership; language and literacy instruction; integration of language, literacy, and content instruction in secondary schools; cooperative learning; professional development; parent and family support teams; tutoring; and monitoring implementation and outcomes. As larger numbers of English learners reach America's schools, K–12 general education teachers are discovering the need to learn how to teach these students.

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Tags: Differentiated Instruction; Intervention; Placement;

Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses: Regardless of language of instruction, what are the most effective practices for teaching English language learners that will produce the most successful long–term outcomes?

Findings:

  • Within the long–term English learners classification exist other categories of English learners with very different needs: special education students, those incorrectly labeled English proficient, migrants (within the U.S.), transitional students (return to and attend school in native country at least part of the year), recent immigrants (who have experience with core subjects but still need to learn academic English vocabulary and usage), and refugee children (who have never attended school.)
  • Based on recent findings, what matters most in educating English learners is the quality of instruction, not the language. Certain salient features stand out as quality instruction practices: school structures and leadership; language and literacy instruction; integration of language, literacy, and content instruction in secondary schools; cooperative learning; professional development; parent and family support teams; tutoring; and monitoring implementation and outcomes.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Reform and intervention should begin at early grades when children's needs are much more manageable and teachers are imparting new skills rather than remediating gaps.

Calderon, M., Slavin, R., Sanchez, M. (2011). "Effective Instruction for English Learners." Immigrant Children 21 (1). The Future of Children. Retrieved from: http://www.futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=74&articleid=542

Ensuring Academic Success for English Learners

Author: Laurie Olson, UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute

Summary: This report highlights nine elements of a strong program, based on three decades of research. Recommended best practices include accessible preschool programs, support for newcomers of all ages, and a focus on English language development.

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Tags: Books and Other Reading Materials; Curriculum; Differentiated Instruction; Intervention; Language Proficiency; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Reading;

Target Population: Preschool, Elementary, Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: What strategies or programs can educators adopt to create schools in which ELLs learn and thrive?

Findings:
A comprehensive system of schooling for ELLS includes the following nine elements:

  • High quality and accessible preschool education
  • Supports for newcomers to meet needs of transition
  • A comprehensive program of English Language development
  • A program providing full access to challenging curriculum
  • High quality instruction and materials
  • Inclusive and affirming school climate
  • Valid, comprehensive, and useful assessments
  • Strong family and community partnerships
  • Schools structured to meet the particular needs of English learners.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Invest in building a qualified educator workforce;
  • Build a meaningful accountability system for English learners;
  • Assure that educators have the materials they need to deliver high quality English Language Development;
  • Demonstrate new models of successful schools for English learners

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:

University of California

Linguistic Minority Research Institute

4722 South Hall

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3220

Olsen, L. (2006). Ensuring Academic Success for English Learners. University of California: Linguistic Minority Research Institute.

Every Child Every Promise: Turning Failure Into Action

Author: America's Promise Alliance

Summary: Instead of focusing on statistics that suggest the symptoms of a larger problem, this report sheds new light on root causes. Every Child, Every Promise: Turning Failure Into Action reveals how our nation is dangerously under–equipping the majority of our children and youth for the future, especially those who are disadvantaged. It probes the causes of this failure—what lies behind the troubling statistics. This report is the first that attempts to measure comprehensively the presence in the lives of our young people of the five key resources—the "Five Promises"—that correlate with success in both youth and adulthood: (1) Caring adults; (2) Safe places and constructive use of time; (3) Healthy start and healthy development; (4) Effective education for marketable skills and lifelong learning; and (5) Opportunities to make a difference through helping others.

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Tags: Intervention; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Rights, Students;

Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • In what ways and to what extent are today's children underserved by parents and adults in general?
  • What are the essential resources children require that will assure their success in the future?
  • How can parents and communities work to provide these resources to all children?

Findings:

  • Children who enjoy the sustained and cumulative benefit of having at least four of the Five Promises across various contexts of their lives are much more likely to be academically successful, civically engaged and socially competent, regardless of their race or family income.
  • Having enough of the Five Promises helps to mitigate the disparities among our nation's young people, for instance those based on race/ ethnicity or family income. Though access to these resources remains deeply unequal in America, their presence in critical mass can be a great equalizer. Regardless of race, gender or family income level, children who enjoy at least four of these five core resources are more likely to thrive.
  • Only 31% of young people today are receiving enough of the developmental resources that will give them genuine reason for confidence about their success as adults.
  • 21% —or over 10 million 6–to–17–year&ndash'olds— have a very low chance of success.
  • The stereotype of children and teens as slackers with a weak work ethic is a myth. Young people are looking for more help from adults, but not a handout. They are willing to work hard to reach their goals.
  • The greatest returns to society result from a balanced investment strategy throughout childhood, not just in early childhood. The biggest economic benefits result from targeting interventions toward underserved youth. These returns take the form of increased high school graduation rates and college enrollment, reduced involvement with the criminal justice system and reduced welfare dependency, which in turn provide direct and indirect economic benefits to our nation.
  • Some of the areas that access to the 5 Promises positively effects are: overall health, grade and school attendance, drug use, social competence, school dropout rates, crime.

Policy Recommendations:

  • The bottom–line implication from this research is clear: For maximum return, start investing in young people at an early age—and don't stop.
  • Consider the "Whole Child" ie educational reforms should go beyond the school.
  • Engage all sectors of society.
  • View investments as more than programs—without minimizing their role: Cost–effective, targeted programs may offer the best strategy for mitigating the risk factors otherwise working against children placed at major disadvantages.
  • Focus attention on the young people who are most underserved.

"Every Child Every Promise: Turning Failure Into Action." Washington, DC: America's Promise Alliance. Retrieved from http://www.americaspromise.org/Resources/Research-and-Reports/~/media/Files/About/ECEP%20-%20Full%20Report.aspx

Foster Care at a Cultural Crossroads: Refugee Children in the Public Foster Care System

Author: Polk, C. & Schmidt, S. BRYCS/Polk Editorial Service.

Summary:

In an effort to develop ideas for supporting refugee children in public foster care, the BRYCS project convened a Roundtable meeting July 20-22, 2003, in Washington, DC. The meeting brought together representatives of refugee communities, refugee-serving agencies, and the foster care system. The first national gathering of its kind, the Roundtable exposed national leaders in child welfare to the concerns of refugee community members and service providers and gave refugee community leaders tools and strategies for working with their local welfare systems.

The idea for the Roundtable grew out of two BRYCS projects: (1) work in two cities where BRYCS piloted a cross-service training methodology for public child welfare staff and refugee-serving agencies and (2) discussions about promising practices with existing federally funded refugee foster care programs. In addition, BRYCS has conducted an analysis of federal and state laws and regulations, as well as accreditation standards, which are relevant to refugee child welfare. As a result of these projects, BRYCS staff saw the need to bring together ethnic leaders and representatives from public and national child welfare organizations in order to:

  • Educate each other on existing needs and services.
  • Brainstorm new ways to be of assistance to one another in order to be better resources to refugee children in public foster care.
  • Generate future action on the local level.

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Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses: How can national leaders help the refugee community with their local welfare systems?

Findings:

Roundtable participants divided into two breakout sessions, one focused on understanding the refugee experience through the eyes of the child, and the other on understanding foster care. Agencies planning a minority recruitment program should consider the following five ideas: (1)Effective recruitment requires a long-term investment and patience. (2)Effective practice is built on valid and accurate data. (3)Effective recruitment if consistent. (4)Effective recruitment must be focused. (5)It is important to track the costs of recruitment. The following people discussed their ideas and practices:

  • The Coordinator, Trafficked Children Initiative: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
  • The Project Director: Immigrants and Child Welfare Project.
  • The Child Welfare Policy and Program Coordinator: Coalition for Asian American Children and Families.
  • The Bilingual/Bicultural Advocate: Refugee Women's Advocate.
  • The Division Director: CLINIC.

Policy Recommendations:
N/A

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
BRYCS - Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 3211 Fourth Street NE Washington, DC 20017

Polk, C. & Schmidt, S. (2003). BRYCS/Polk Editorial Services. Foster Care at a Cultural Crossroads: Refugee Children in the Public Foster Care System.

Frequency of Parent-Supervised Outdoor Play of U.S. Preschool-Aged Children

Author: Christakis, D.A., Tandon, P.S., Zhou, C. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Summary: The goal of this report was to characterize preschoolers' daily parent-supervised outdoor play frequency and associated factors.

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Tags: Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA;

Target Population: Preschool

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are the associated factors that relate to the amount of outdoor play preschools have?

Findings:

  • A child's odds of going outside daily were associated with gender, having more regular playmates, mother's race/ethnicity, mother's employment, and parent's exercise frequency.
  • Researchers did not find significant association of outdoor play with child's time spent watching television, household income, mother's marital status, or parent's perceptions of neighborhood safety.
  • About half the preschoolers in this sample did not have at least 1 parent-supervised outdoor play opportunity per day.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Outdoor play opportunities at child care are critical for children of parents who work outside the home.
  • Efforts to increase active outdoor play should especially target girls and minorities.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Subscriber Services Center American Medical Association P.O. Box 10946 Chicago, IL 60654

Christakis, D.A., Tandon, P.S., Zhou, C. (2012). Frequency of Parent-Supervised Outdoor Play of US Preschool-Aged Children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Frequency of Parent-Supervised Outdoor Play of US Preschool-Aged Children

Author: Christakis, D.A., Tandon, P.S., Zhou, C. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Summary: The goal of this report was to characterize preschoolers' daily parent-supervised outdoor play frequency and associated factors.

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Target Population: Preschool

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are the associated factors that relate to the amount of outdoor play preschools have?

Findings:

  • A child's odds of going outside daily were associated with gender, having more regular playmates, mother's race/ethnicity, mother's employment, and the parent's exercise frequency.
  • Researchers did not find significant association of outdoor play with child's time spent watching television, household income, mother's marital status, or parent's perceptions of neighborhood safety.
  • About half the preschoolers in this sample did not have at least 1 parent-supervised outdoor play opportunity per day.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Outdoor play opportunities at child care are critical for children of parents who work outside the home.
  • Efforts to increase active outdoor play should especially target girls and minorities.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Subscriber Services Center American Medical Association P.O. Box 10946 Chicago, IL 60654

Christakis, D.A., Tandon, P.S., Zhou, C. (2012). Frequency of Parent-Supervised Outdoor Play of US Preschool-Aged Children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

In the Child's Best Interest? The Consequences of Losing a Lawful Immigrant Parent to Deportation

Author: University of California, Berkeley

Summary: This report summarizes the current state of lawful immigration (and lawful permanent resident) in the U.S. It does this through a multi-disciplinary analysis, -examin[ing] the experiences of U.S. citizen children impacted by the forced deportation of their LPR parents and proposes ways to reform U.S. law consistent with domestic and international standards aimed to improve the lives of children.

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Tags: Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Rights, Parents; Rights, Students;

Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are the consequences of losing a Lawful Immigrant Parent to deportation? How can these experiences affect future reform and prevent further separation of loved ones?

Findings:
We estimate that more than 100,000 children have been affected by LPR parental deportation between 1997 and 2007, and that at least 88,000 of impacted children were U.S. citizens. Moreover, our analysis estimates that approximately 44,000 children were under the age of 5 when their parent was deported. In addition to these children, this analysis estimates that more than 217,000 others experienced the deportation of an immediate family member who was an LPR.

In the Child’s Best Interest? The Consequences of Losing a Lawful Immigrant Parent to Deportation. (2010). University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved January 13, 2011 from: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/Human_Rights_report.pdf

K-12 Educational Outcomes of Immigrant Youth

Author: Robert Crosnoe and Ruth Lopez Turley. The Future of Children. Princeton University. Brookings Institute.

Summary: Robert Crosnoe and Ruth Lopez Turley summarize the K–12 patterns of experiences among immigrant youth, paying special attention to differences in academic functioning across segments of the immigrant population defined by generational status, race and ethnicity, and national origin. A good deal of evidence points to an immigrant advantage in multiple indicators of academic progress, meaning that many youths from immigrant families outperform their peers in school. This apparent advantage is often referred to as the immigrant paradox, in that it occurs despite higher–than–average rates of social and economic disadvantages in this population as a whole. The immigrant paradox, however, is more pronounced among the children of Asian and African immigrants than other groups, and it is stronger for boys than for girls. Furthermore, evidence for the paradox is far more consistent in secondary school than in elementary school. Bilingualism and strong family ties help to explain immigrant advantages in schooling; school, community, and other contextual disadvantages may suppress these advantages or lead to immigrant risks. Crosnoe and Turley also discuss several policy efforts targeting young people from immigrant families, especially those of Latin American origin, including the DREAM Act, and culturally grounded programs for college preparation and parent involvement.

Show research findings and policy recommendations

Tags: Intervention; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA;

Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • What are the main patterns of K–12 experience for immigrant youth?
  • What is the "immigrant paradox" and how broadly applicable is it?

Findings:

  • The "immigrant paradox" is the trend that that immigrant youth enjoy academic advantages in the relative absence of the socioeconomic advantages, such as high parental education and income, which are usually associated with school success.
  • This apparent advantage, however, is more pronounced among the children of Asian and African immigrants than other groups, among boys than girls, and in secondary than elementary school.
  • With support from families, schools, and communities, therefore, fluency in multiple languages has academic advantages that likely factor into the immigrant paradox.
  • Overall, strong family ties and parental attachment and support are resources for immigrant youth, providing the security and assistance they need to meet the challenges of school, even though this support comes in less obvious means.
  • Although many immigrant youth more problematic schools that pose academic risks that could impair academic performance, such risks seem to affect these immigrant youth less than students with native–born parents, suggesting that they may be more resilient in problematic schools than their peers.
  • Indeed, ECLS–K teachers rated the children of both Hispanic and Asian immigrants as better adjusted than children of U.S.–born white, Asian, Hispanic, and black parents.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Targeting the Latino population is one way for policy makers to address numerous kinds of educational disparities. Moreover, given the many community and family strengths of Latin American immigrants, this population has potential to respond positively to interventions targeting these related disparities.
  • Efforts by policy makers to promote college–going among immigrant youth must focus on coursework as well as on other areas of college preparation that require inside knowledge, such as knowing how to apply for aid.
  • Because a lack of contact between immigrant families and schools might contribute to immigrant risks and undercut immigrant advantages, efforts to open dialogue between the two could be valuable.
  • Policy–makers should seek to increase parental involvement by initiating efforts grounded in the lives of families, flexible to language and schedule barriers.

Crosnoe, R. and Lopez Turley, R. "K–12 Educational Outcomes of Immigrant Youth." Immigrant Children 21 (1). The Future of Children. Retrieved from: http://www.futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=74&articleid=543.

Learning, Teaching, and Leading in Healthy School Communities

Author: ASCD (formerly Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)

Summary: This report evaluates the model and strategies used in ASCD’s Healthy School Communities (HSC) project that seeks to improve quality and level of education by ensuring the good “health” of students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community members. “Health” refers to physical, social, mental, and well-being of all these people involved in the school, both directly and indirectly.

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Tags: Intervention; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Rights, Parents; Rights, Students;

Target Population: Elementary, Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: What elements of the Healthy School Community (HSC) project yield the best results for improving school health?

Findings:

  • The single most important factor is having an engaged and effective principal who fully embraces the HSC model, actively participating but also distributing tasks among a team.
  • Collaboration of various forms is crucial. This includes letting parents have a say in matters, getting community members involved and personally invested in the success of the school, and networking with other healthy schools for strategies.
  • "Healthy" schools that focus on the "whole child" are the best kind because teachers can teach to their fullest abilities and students can learn to their highest potential.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Build a team dedicated to improving school health that is led by a principal but broken into teams, which incorporates parents, teachers, and stakeholders of the community.
  • Enact systemic, rather than programmatic change, by making foundational changes such as rewriting mission/goals and getting everyone involved in changes as opposed to the principal making decisions singlehandedly.

ASCD (2010). Learning, Teaching, and Leading in Healthy School Communities. Alexandria, VA: ACSD.

Listening to Latinas: Barriers for High School Graduation

Author: National Women's Law Center & Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Summary: The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, along with the National Women's Law Center, conducted a qualitative study on obstacles Latina girls face to graduate from high school. The two organizations, with the help of teachers, case managers, principals, etc. sent out over 1,000 surveys to Latina students all over the country. Following the surveys, they had follow-up interviews with 21 Latina girls and conducted focus group discussions with 26 additional students. Additionally, they surveyed 45 adult program staff working with Latina students, college access programs and schools, and then conducted in-depth follow up interviews with 15 of these individuals. There was also extensive literature research on Latina students.

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Tags: American Indian ELL Students; Asian ELL Students; Intervention; Latino ELL Students; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA;

Target Population: High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: How do female high school Latina students overcome obstacles in order to graduate from high school?

Findings:

Latinas have high aspirations and goals but often are unable to reach them because of academic and social barriers such as:

  • Poverty
  • Immigration status
  • Language barriers
  • Lack of parental involvement
  • Teenage pregnancy

Policy Recommendations:

  • Invest in the future of Latinas. Congress should put more money into providing child care, early childhood education, health care, nutrition assistance, and tax benefits.
  • Provide Latina girls with role models and set up programs that help them reach their goals. More money should be put into mentoring programs, school counseling, and college access programs.
  • Make sure that all Latina girls are prepared for any post-secondary education opportunity.
  • Ensure that schools are free of racial and gender discrimination. Schools should also make sure that they enforce and promote dual language programs for ELLs.
  • Aid in gaining more Latino parental involvement. The government and schools should fund more programs to help parents become more active in schools.
  • Fund more efforts to prevent teenage pregnancy, including implementing sex education programs.
  • Support students who are pregnant or who are currently parenting.
  • Schools should require better data collection and promote school accountability.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
MALDEF: http://maldef.org/contact/

National Women’'s Law Center & Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Listening to Latinas: barriers to high school graduation. (2009, August). Retrieved from: http://maldef.org/assets/pdf/ListeningtoLatinas.pdf

Media, Technology, and Reading in Hispanic Families

Summary: This report explores reading and electronic media use in Hispanic households with young children. Researchers examined how age, gender, primary language and social economic status relate to media use, as well as how media practices in Hispanic families compare with other ethnic groups. Key findings demonstrate that access to electronic media devices is significantly dependent upon parents' ethnicity and income, and that Hispanic children read for 14 minutes longer than non-Hispanic White children per day and tend to spend more time using mobile devices and computers each day. In addition, Hispanic parents see more of a positive than a negative effect on children's literacy from television, computers and mobile devices, although video games are viewed as negatively impacting their children. Most participants also are convinced that computer and digital literacy are essential skills for their children and do not believe their children are lagging behind their peers in digital skills.

Show research findings and policy recommendations

Tags: Books and Other Reading Materials;

Target Population: Elementary

Connell, S. L., Kirkpatrick, E., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2013). Media, Technology and Reading in Hispanic Families. National Center for Families Learning.

One Minneapolis: Community Indicators Report

Author: Kelly, L.M. & Egbert, A. The Minneapolis Foundation/Amherst Wilder Foundation

Summary:

In 2009, The Minneapolis Foundation unveiled a new strategic plan that focuses community philanthropy activities on transforming education, promoting economic vitality, and building social capital in an effort to advance social, economic, and racial equity. The strategic plan states: "The Minneapolis Foundation serves as a leader, partner, and grant-maker to help create positive change in the community, ensuring everyone has the power to build a positive future for themselves, their families, and their communities. We will invest our resources strategically towards specific key results in order to achieve social, economic, and racial equity."

As part of the evaluation of the strategic plan, The Minneapolis Foundation partnered with Wilder Research in 2010 to select community-level indicators that reflect the community's educational, economic, and social environment. The community indicators sketch a portrait of the Minneapolis landscape, in which The Minneapolis Foundation operates as a leader, partner, and grant maker. Additional data from internal records, grantees, and partners will also help explain how the grant-making and leader/partnership activities are making a difference in the community. All of these serve to illustrate the Foundation's work in advancing social, economic, and racial equity as they support efforts to transform education, promote economic vitality, and build social capital.

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Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are some important observations that reflect the Minneapolis community?

Findings:
The following issues are discussed in the form of "why it matters, how we're doing, and key observations":

  • Kindergarteners ready for school.
  • 3rd graders proficient in reading.
  • Minneapolis families living in poverty.
  • Voter participation rate residents who feel unaccepted because of their race, ethnicity, or culture.

Policy Recommendations:
N/A

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Wilder Research 451 Lexington Parkway North Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104

Kelly, L.M. & Egbert, A. (2011). The Minneapolis Foundation/Amherst Wilder Foundation. One Minneapolis: Community Indicators Report

Perceptions of College Financial Aid Among California Latino Youth

Author: The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute / Maria Estela Zarate and Harry P. Pachon

Summary: Despite surveys and research showing that Hispanic parents and students alike both consider college to be both important and valuable, many Hispanic students do not pursue higher education. This report makes the assertion that if Hispanic students and their parents were better informed about the concepts involved with and procedure surrounding financial aid that more Hispanic students would pursue college.

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Tags: Latino ELL Students; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Rights, Parents; Rights, Students;

Target Population: Post-Secondary

Research Questions the Report Poses: Are Hispanic students well-informed about their financial aid options for higher education? How does knowledge about financial aid affect Hispanic students' choices to pursue higher education?

Findings:

  • 98% of respondents in the survey said that they felt it was important to have a college education
  • 38% of respondents did not feel the benefits of college outweigh the costs
  • Not being able to work and incurring debt were the opportunity costs associated with going to college
  • The opportunity costs associated with going to college were not being able to work and incurring debt
  • More than 50% of the respondents incorrectly thought students have to be U.S. citizens to apply for college financial aid
  • Few respondents could accurately estimate the cost of attending either the University of California or California State University
  • Overall, respondents demonstrated a lack of familiarity with government grants for education

Policy Recommendations:

  • Students need to be better informed about the "less tangible, but real, social status differences that exist between the college-educated and the non-college educated" so that they feel that the opportunity costs of attending college are worth paying
  • Because of misperceptions about how much college actually costs, Latino students may continue to be underrepresented on college campuses. To this end, perceptions must be corrected by presenting students with information about the realistic costs of attending college.
  • Latino students need to be better informed about Cal Grants and Pell Grants, as well as other grant and loan opportunities available through state and federal government.
  • Students and their parents both need to be educated about the system of college finances, including scholarships, loans, grants, and government guaranteed loans.
  • Student perceptions about the significance of legal residency status vs. U.S. citizenship status need to be corrected, especially given the citizenship status of many students' parents

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
n/a

Zarate, E.Z., and Pachon, H.P. (2006). Perceptions of College Financial Aid Among California Latino Youth. Tomas Rivera Policy Institute: Los Angeles, CA.

Pre-K and Latinos: The Foundation for America's Future

Author: Pre–K Now; Eugene E. Garcia and Danielle M. Gonzales

Summary: Latino families care about education, but many do not participate in preschool programs. Although Latinos are at great risk for school failure, research shows that they benefit more from Pre-K programs than children of other ethnic groups. This report from Pre-K Now discusses how to make preschool effective and accessible so that all Latino children get a strong foundation for learning.

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Tags: Bilingual Instruction; Bilingualism / Biliteracy; Latino ELL Students; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Reading;

Target Population: Preschool

Research Questions the Report Poses: How does Pre–K education positively impact the Latino population?

Findings:

  • Despite education being prominent and important in many Latinos' home countries, many Latinos in the United States do not have their children enrolled in Pre-K programs.
  • Pre-K programs are often cost-prohibitive for Latinos or unavailable in their areas.
  • Research shows that disadvantaged children who receive Pre-K education stand to make the biggest gains from that education.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Outreach to parents needs to be more effective. Parents of ELLs need to know about the options available to them in terms of Pre-K programs available.
  • Pre–K instruction needs to be available in the home language of minorities, especially ELLs.
  • In conjunction with the above, critical staff at Pre-K programs need to be bilingual to accommodate more ELL students' language needs.
  • Enrollment and eligibility requirements both need to be modified so as not to discriminate against ELLs or hinder them from getting into Pre–K programs.

Garcia, E.E., Gonzales, D.M. (2006). Pre-K and Latinos: The Foundation for America's Future. Pre-K Now Research Series: Washington, DC.

School and Parent Interaction by Household Language and Poverty Status: 2002-03

Author: National Center for Education Statistics; Enyeart, Christine; Diehl, Juliet Hampden-Thompson, Gillian; Scotchmer, Marion

Summary: There are differences in the communication practices and opportunities for parent involvement between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking households. A greater percentage of parents in English-speaking households than in Spanish-speaking households had parents who reported receiving personal notes or emails about the student; receiving newsletters, memos or notices addressed to all parents; opportunities to attend general meetings; opportunities to attend school events; and chances to volunteer. In English-speaking households, the amount of communication parents reported receiving decreased as income decreased.

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Tags: Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA;

Target Population: Preschool, Elementary, Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are the school-to-home communication practices and opportunities for parent involvement at school as reported by parents of U.S. school-age children from primarily English-speaking and primarily Spanish-speaking households? How do these practices and opportunities relate to household poverty?

Findings:

  • 92% of all parents reported receiving newsletters, memos, or notices from the school or teacher addressed to all parents.
  • 92% of parents from English-speaking households and 82% of parents from Spanish-speaking households reported receiving communication addressed to all parents.
  • 50% of parents from English-speaking households reported receiving personal notes or e-mails about the student. 40% of parents from Spanish-speaking households reported receiving personal communication about the student.
  • Parents in poor English-speaking households were more likely than students in poor Spanish-speaking households to report receiving personal notes or emails (49% to 40%)
  • There are differences in communication practices for English-speaking households across poverty levels.
  • Reports of opportunities for parent involvement differed by household language except in the case of parent-teacher conferences.
  • Parents from poor households were less likely to report that the school had opportunities for parent involvement than students from non-poor households.

Policy Recommendations:
The report did not provide policy recommendations.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Call 1-877-4ED-PUBS or visit www.edpubs.org

Enyeart, Christine; Diehl, Juliet Hampden-Thompson, Gillian; Scotchmer, Marion. (2006). "School and Parent Interaction by Household Language and Poverty Status: 2002-03." U.S. Department of Education: National Center for Education Statistics.

Summer Reading Loss

Author: Mraz, M. and Rasinski, T.V.

Summary: Children who do not practice their reading skills during the summer often return to school in the fall reading at a lower level than when they left for summer vacation. In Summer Reading Loss, Maryann Mraz and Timothy Rasinski point out that children from low-income families are particularly at risk for summer reading loss, which serves to widen the achievement gap between these children and children from middle-class families. In this article, the authors provide a brief review of existing research on summer reading loss, and they discuss what schools and families can do to combat this problem.

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Tags: Books and Other Reading Materials; Libraries; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Reading; Struggling Readers;

Target Population: Elementary

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • How does summer loss affect students' reading achievement?
  • Why does summer reading loss occur?
  • What can be done to curb summer reading loss?
  • What elements contribute to family literacy participation?

Findings:

  • While reading and academic gains during the school year are comparable among student groups, studies and tests show that reading loss is much more significant in low-income students, which ultimately contributes to a widening achievement gap as they progress into higher grades.
  • Summer reading loss seems to have its greatest impact on low-achieving students and at-risk students-those who can least afford to fall further behind.
  • Access to reading materials is a vital element in enhancing the reading development of children, but low-income students experience several barriers to reading at home.
  • It is not enough to simply tell parents that it is important to read to children. Parents, particularly lower socioeconomic-status parents, need concrete, specific programs, suggestions on how to participate in family literacy, and support.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Parent workshops just before summer break.
  • Schools should coordinate with the local public library for their summer reading program.
  • Required summer reading list of 3-5 proven favorites for children, with adequate access to them for all students.
  • Reading Millionaires Program
  • TV programs and movies based on books can encourage reading; Parents can turn down the volume and turn on the captions so kids have to read.
  • Use daily routines as reading activities such as cooking, web surfing, reading directions in a manual, etc.

Mraz, M. and Rasinski, T.V. (2007). Summer reading loss. The Reading Teacher, 60(8). International Reading Association. 784-789.

The Teacher's Guide to Diversity: Building a Knowledge Base

Author: Elise Trumbull and Maria Pacheco. The Education Alliance at Brown University. Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory (LAB).

Summary: The Teacher's Guide to Diversity: Building a Knowledge Base (Trumbull, Pacheco, 2005), published by The Education Alliance at Brown University, offers a wealth of information about multicultural influences on human development, culture, cognition, and language. This two-volume set, which is downloadable as a pdf file, covers such topics as: challenging cultural assumptions about parental involvement in school, supporting students' ethnic and academic identity in school, cultural differences in communication style and language use, and factors that influence second-language acquisition in children. (Volume I: Human Development, Culture, and Cognition; Volume II: Language) Also included is a separate presenter's manual with activities for each unit in the two volumes, which makes this publication easy to use for workshops and professional development.

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Tags: Bilingualism / Biliteracy; Fluency; Language of Instruction; Language Proficiency; Phonics; Phonological Awareness; Transfer of Literacy Skills; Vocabulary;

Target Population: All

Research Questions the Report Poses:

VOLUME I:

  • What are the reigning theories of human development, cognition, culture, and the relationship between them?
  • How does identity development intersect with achievement motivation?
  • What is intelligence?
  • How can our knowledge of human development inform our work as educators working with an increasingly diverse student population?
  • What is known about how to work successfully with families from non-dominant cultural groups?

VOLUME II:

  • What is language proficiency and how does it interact with culture, human development, learning, and schooling?
  • How can teachers best support English language learners (ELLs) and speakers of different English dialects?
  • What are the current views of literacy acquisition and best approaches to literacy instruction?
  • How can assessments eliminate bias based on language?

Findings:

  • Most important to the process of addressing the needs of learners from a wide range of backgrounds is a positive, ongoing process of exploration and constructive conversation among the professionals who serve such students and between professionals and students' families.
  • Meaningful approaches to human development and learning have become increasingly multi-disciplinary.
  • Language indexes culture; language symbolizes culture; culture is partially created by language.

Policy Recommendations:
Teacher's Guide to Diversity includes a third volume, "The Presenter's Manual," which provides support for preparing for and conducting classes or workshops. The manual contains activities and suggested homework assignments, organized by the volume with which they are associated.

Trumbull, E., Pacheco, M. (2005). The Teacher’s Guide to Diversity: Building a Knowledge Base. Providence, RI: The Education Alliance at Brown University. Retrieved from http://www.alliance.brown.edu/pubs/teach_guide_diversity/.

Understanding Latino Parental Involvement in Education: Perceptions, Expectations, and Recommendations

Author: Maria Estela Zarate, Ph.D. (University of California, Irvine); The Tom´s Rivera Policy Institute

Summary: Maria Estela Zarate provides a unique look at Latino parents' involvement in their children's education from the distinct perspectives of parents, educators, and children. Of particular interest is Zarate's discussion of Latino parents' broader interpretation of "educación," to include such areas as encouraging the child in his/her aspirations, teaching morals and respect for others, and providing advice on life issues.

Show research findings and policy recommendations

Tags: Latino ELL Students; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Rights, Parents; Rights, Students;

Target Population: Middle and high school students

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • What are Latino parents' perceptions of their own participation in their children's education?
  • What are schools' and teachers' expectations of parental involvement?
  • How do parents' and schools' expectations match?
  • What are Latino students' perceptions of their parents' role in their education?
  • What are the programmatic initiatives that address parental involvement?

Findings:

  • Schools and school districts need to have clear goals and objectives to increase parental involvement in middle and high schools.
  • Latino parents most often define the word education (educación) as their parental involvement in their children's lives, and, as a consequence, this will help students in their academic performance in school.
  • Latino parents describe the communication between parents and teachers/administrators/counselors in middle or high school as rather impersonal and inadequate.
  • Language, for Latino parents, is still the main factor that discourages them from actively participating in school activities and events.
  • The second, most important reason for low Latino parental involvement is work demand.

Policy Recommendations:

The author recommends:

  • Statewide and national accountability requirements measuring parental involvement
  • Legislation that allows flex time or work-leave for school meetings
  • Increased bilingual staffing
  • Funding for innovative parent engagement models
  • Large-scale partnerships between communities, universities, and schools
  • Clear goals for increasing parental involvement
  • Compensation for teachers with strong records of parental engagement
  • Increased professional development

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development 650 Childs Way, Lewis Hall, Suite 102 Los Angeles, California 90089-0626

Zarate, Maria Estela. (2007). Understanding Latino Parental Involvement in Education: Perceptions, Expectations, and Recommendations. Los Angeles, California. The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute. University of Southern California.