The Relationship Between The School's Parent Partnership Programs And The Achievement Of Urban High School Students
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentEducation and Urban Studies
ProgramDoctor of Education
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Partnerships between family and school can improve school programs and school climate and also increase parent leadership skills and the level and quality of parent involvement (Epstein, 1995). Parents who are involved in their children's education improve their children's chances of academic success. However, if schools do not work together with families to promote constructive involvement, partnerships between families and school often decline as children progress from elementary, middle and high school (Epstein, 1995). The development of partnerships between schools and families is one of the biggest problems that urban schools face. Due to the lack of funds, effective guidance and clear directives that demonstrate how to create, maintain and evaluate partnerships, urban schools that assist students from high risk communities have a difficult time in developing effective partnerships between the school and families (Sanders & Harvey, 2002). The purpose of this study was to determine if there is an association between the degree to which parents perceive the school to be fostering school and parent partnership programs and the achievement of urban high school students. Using the High School and Family Partnership Survey (Epstein, Connors & Salinas, 1993), parents of students that attend a high school in a mid-Atlantic urban school district completed questions to obtain information on their perceptions about the school's efforts to foster school and parent partnerships in the overall and six distinct areas of Epstein's framework. The Maryland High School Assessment (HSA) provided data to determine the level of student achievement. A correlational design was developed to test the null hypothesis that there is no association between the degree to which parents perceive the school to be fostering school and family partnership programs and the academic achievement of students attending an urban high school. Six classrooms were selected, three from each grade levels11 and 12 in one large urban high school. The students in the selected classrooms were asked to take a copy of the survey home, request a parent to complete the survey, and return the completed survey to their teacher. The results of the study showed that parents perceived volunteering to be the area in which the school is most successful in fostering parent involvement and collaborating with the community as the lowest area. Results also showed a difference in parent perspectives of how the school was fostering relationships based on student gender, grade level, race, parental employment status and parent education. The major implication of this study is the need to gain a better understanding of how schools might foster better relationships with the community.