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Citation:Sanders, M. G., Epstein, J. L., & Connors-Tadros, L. (1999). Family partnerships with high schools: The parents' perspective (CRESPAR Report 32). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University. ED428148.

The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between school-family partnerships and parental involvement at home and at school at the high school level. It examined the effect of different types of high school partnership practices on parental attitudes toward school. The researchers found a positive correlation between parental reports of involvement at home and school practices that assisted parents and facilitated interactions with teens on learning activities at home. Findings also show a significant correlation between parental reports of their involvement at school and school practices that encourage volunteering at school and those that involve families in school decision making. A significant positive correlation between studentsÕ achievement and their parents' attitudes toward school was also found; parents whose teens were doing well gave their schools more positive ratings. However, high schools that reached out to families were more likely to get rated positively by those families that were involved and those that were not involved. Of all the variables examined, the strength of a schoolÕs overall program of school-family partnership was the strongest predictor of family attitudes toward the school. Data were gathered through surveys of 423 parents in two rural, two suburban, and two urban schools in Maryland. Researchers controlled for family and student background characteristics, such as race, gender, and academic performance, and parental employment and educational background, when conducting multiple regression analysis of the data. Researchers suggest that schools may be able to offset the influence of parents' educational background and student success on parental involvement by developing strong partnership programs that encourage all families' participation in school events and decisions. This study was focused on the parentsÕ perspectives and relied only on parent surveys.

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