School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators, and Improving Schools

School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators, and Improving Schools

School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators, and Improving Schools

School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators, and Improving Schools

Excerpt

WHOSE DREAMS ARE THESE? Children will like school; work hard; do the best they can; graduate from high school; continue their education; gain employment; and become good citizens, friends, and members of their families. Countless surveys and projects with thousands of educators, families, and students reveal that these are common goals and dreams. Too often, though, these ideals are unattained by this nation's children. How can more students be helped to meet these goals?

To answer questions about goals, we must ask questions about roles: What should families do, what should schools and communities do, and what should students do to reach their common objectives for children's futures? These questions are the reasons for studying, implementing, and improving school, family, and community partnerships.

MATCHING RHETORIC WITH PRACTICE

No topic about school improvement has created more rhetoric than "parent involvement." Everyone says that it is important. In study after study, teachers, parents, administrators, and even students from elementary through high school say that involvement benefits students, improves schools, assists teachers, and strengthens families. There are basic beliefs and agreements about the importance of families and the benefits of parent involvement.

There also are some clearly expressed hopes or wishes for parent involvement. Teachers would like families to assist, guide, and influence their children to do their schoolwork. Families wish teachers would let them know how to help their children at home. Students wish their families were knowledgeable about their schools and helpful to them on school matters at home. These desires are expressed in numerous studies with diverse samples, in varied communities, and at all grade levels.

There is some confusion and disagreement, however, about which practices of involvement are important and how to obtain high participation from all families.

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