Reflective Essay-Module 5
EDA614A- Theories and Applications of Educational Leadership
Prepared for Professor
Faculty at National University
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the
Master of Education
Tier I Administrative Credential
October 15, 2004
Creating a successful school site involves many aspects of the "school community" to be involved. The school's community consists of students, faculty, staff, parents, and community. In is tremendously important that school sites build a partnership with parents for different reasons, primarily increasing student achievement. As it has been expressed and several times, "Parent (and community) involvement are essential ingredients--perhaps the most crucial components--of building stronger schools," (Jackobson, 1997). Unfortunately, is has been reported that parent involvement is a largely "untapped resource" for schools to increase student achievement and a sense of community and commitment (Regional Education Laboratory, 2004). As a result, higher student achievement would have a positive effect on meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals and also increasing the schools Academic Performance Index (API). In addition to the many benefits of parent involvement there are also specific mandates for it. In fact, under the No Child Left Behind Act any school receiving Title I funds must develop and establish a descriptions of how they will involve parents in the development of plan and the overseeing of them (California Department of Education, 2004). In addition, Title I schools must also disseminate the schools parental involvement practices, pertinent information in regard to teacher qualifications, student achievement, hold meetings, and offer parent involvement at different times, among other things (California Department of Education, 2004). As there many obstacles that administrators in the K-12 arena must confront and overcome to have a successful school, parent involvement may be one of the more challenging hurdles. What it is?
The term "parent involvement" has a plethora of meanings and is used in many contexts. Parent involvement is really the participation of parents, not only in attending parent conferences and back to school night but much more. Parent involvement is really the ongoing active participation in education and schools in a variety of ways from attending school functions and obligations, to helping your child with homework, to volunteering time on site (Cotton and Wikelund, 2004). Each school site should allow parents the opportunity to participate in their child's education and engage in two way meaningful communication involving student academic learning, and school activities (National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, 2004). However, at minimum, parent involvement should include parent-teacher conferences, a report about progress, and access to staff if needed (California Department of Education, 2004). Challenges
According to a pole conducted by the 31st Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll, the majority of the public believes that the lack of parent involvement is the biggest obstacle that education is facing (Dunne, 2002). While there have been numerous studies and research done in regard to the positive influences that parent involvement has on various areas of student achievement, there is one inconsistency that remains, how the term "parent involvement" is defined (Baker and Soden, 1998). In fact there are various degrees and aspects of parent involvement, which may are also culturally variable (Trumbull et. Al., 2001), that can be focused on specifically which may have an adverse affect on data collected and reported, which would yield very different results. For example, there have been studies conducted that focused on the attitude component of parent involvement by focusing on...