Transforming Family Engagement in an Era of Data Driven Reform

A new policy brief from the Harvard Family Research Project and the National PTA highlights ways that data can be used to engage families and improve parent–teacher communication. The brief describes three key elements of a data system (access, understanding, and action) and cites six case studies demonstrating how early childhood programs and school districts are using data systems to improve family engagement. One example: a pre-K program in Colorado that uses children's drawings as data, allowing early childhood teachers and parents to track a child’s developmental progress.


Weiss, H.B., Lopez, M.E., & Stark, D.R. (2011) Breaking new ground: Data systems transform family engagement in education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.