It is not a novel concept that family engagement is one of the strongest predictors of children’s school success. Studies over the past 50 years demonstrate a positive relationship between family engagement and student achievement for students of all backgrounds. Children are most successful when supported by families and schools working together collaboratively. As a parent, I understand the unique needs and learning behaviors of my children more than anyone. Through my respective roles as an educator and a federal K-12 policy professional, I also understand the nuances of balancing parental input with a safe and effective education for all students.
For years, parental involvement in education has been supported by Republican and Democratic leaders as integral to student success and as a guiding principle for federal and state education policy. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the bipartisan K-12 federal education law, explicitly requires that parents be meaningfully involved and consulted in the development of state and school district education plans. These plans provide the framework for how states and school districts will deliver education to elementary and high school students. Additionally, the law requires that parents be involved in the creation of “state report cards,” providing information on how schools in each state are performing – including student achievement levels. The report cards must be written and in an accessible way so that parents can take action to engage with their child’s school.Read More