Parental involvement within the educational system is generally considered a positive phenomenon from teachers’ perspectives. While parents tend to develop a positive attitude toward the specified idea as well, their initial reaction tends to include reluctance. There is a difference between discrimination, prejudice, and stereotype. Stereotypes, including both positive and negative ones, are perceived ideas about a specific group of people. Prejudices are assumptions that make one treat a person belonging to a particular group negatively. Discrimination, in turn, is the explicit demonstration of superiority toward a particular group (326).
Teachers and administrators involve parents in the academic environment for different reasons and for different purposes. Teachers tend to seek collaboration with parents to improve student’s behavior or academic performance, while administrators need parental involvement to introduce changes to the curriculum. Parental involvement helped increase the use of public libraries and address math-related concerns such as the need for assistance in understanding a specific concept (342).
Students need to recognize the importance of homework as a tool for training the acquired skills. Parents, in turn, should assist students in managing their homework. The purposes thereof include memorizing the material and acquiring analytical skills. Other purposes of homework include enhancement of parent-child and parent-teacher relationships, peer interactions, and the relevant goals (242).
It is also important to keep in mind that there is a difference between homework stars and problems. The former are the children that do more homework, whereas the latter are the ones having difficulties with assignments. The key difference between the two is that parental involvement is greater in the second scenario. A recent study has found that the choice of a teaching strategy is critical, that homework should not be used as punishment, and that students need to discuss their school activities with their families to perform better. Furthermore, the study revealed that family involvement has a positive effect on students’ performance (244).
In the study mentioned above, the attitudes among students regarding parental involvement have been evaluated as well. According to the results of the analysis, reluctance toward discussing school issues with parents is a warning sign of developing problems. In case no academic issues are observed, students are mostly positive about parental involvement. Furthermore, parental support was the key variable of student achievements (245).
The federal policy has a long history that dates back to 2009 when the State Board of Education issued the Position Statement on School-Family-Community Partnership. States provide regulations and resources for supporting parental involvement, districts encourage changes in the relationships between parents and educators, and schools design parent-specific approaches.
In the specified process, state agencies play a particularly important role since they allow coordinating the described processes. However, because of diversity rates and the rigid framework of the policies, their implementation often requires overcoming obstacles. The latter include the lack of specificity on a federal level, lack of context on a state level, and difficulties with adjustments on a school one. For this purpose, the 14 policy action recommendations were designed to address the inconsistencies in the policy application process (328).
State & District Policy
In Texas, the shift toward encouraging parents to take an active part in their children’s education can be observed. Similarly, California, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and other districts have intensified cooperation between parents and educators. At present, six types of parental involvement can be identified, including parenting, communicating, volunteering, homeschooling, decision-making, and community collaboration (318).
Policy & Practice
In order to maintain control over schools and ensure the well-being of students, Title 1 was created. Title 1 is a federal aid program designed to support schools. Therefore, it has very high importance for both learners and educators. In addition, the “No Child Left behind” Act (NCLB) has enhanced the inclusiveness of all U.S. schools. Furthermore, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allows making the curriculum meet the needs of all learners (315). ESSA is a regulation that provides legal, educational opportunities to all students and, unlike NCLB, offers better prescriptive requirements for educators.