We have a nice variety of articles for you in this issue, with the common thread of considering various stakeholders' perspectives running throughout. Willems and Gonzalez-DeHass start us offwith an essay describing how school-community partnerships can be a vital part of using creative contexts such as authentic instruction, problem-based learning, and service learning to motivate students and maximize learning. Next, Voyles describes a needs assessment conducted for a plan to create a community school which revealed just how important it is to listen to parents before planning an intervention.
Xu continues his research on homework; his current study found that neither race nor location (urban vs. rural) affected high school students' homework interest. However, teacher feedback on the homework did have varying influence for the Black and White students surveyed. Bennett-Conroy gives us a promising practice to consider. Using interactive homework as a catalyst for parental involvement and teacher-family communication, her study highlights the success of a low-cost intervention implemented in a low-income, high immigrant and minority middle school.
Hilgendorf's case studies of three African American boys-including a comparison of the perceptions of the three students, their family members, and teachers-remind us of the opportunities that are so easily missed without communication and careful examination of perceptions of what constitutes "family" and "involvement. …