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Citation:Carey, N., Lewis, L., & Farris, E. (1998). Parent involvement in children's education: Efforts by public elementary schools (National Center for Education Statistics Statistical Analysis Report). Washington, DC: Westat & NCESS. ED416027.

This study presents the ways elementary schools engage parents in their childrenÕs education and the extent to which parents respond to those involvement opportunities. Results indicated that the majority of schools held various parent involvement events, such as open houses. Parents were most likely to attend when the event featured some kind of contact with their childÕs teacher. Parent attendance varied by geographic region, poverty concentration, and minority enrollment in the school. The most significant barrier to participation was "lack of time" on the part of parents. Schools did not report including parents in school decision making to a great extent, but schools with parents on some kind of advisory group were more likely to consider parent input on all issues. Finally, the percentage of schools satisfied with the degree of parent involvement in different activities decreased as the minority enrollment or the percentage of low-income students reached 50 percent or more. Data were collected through surveys mailed to principals at 900 elementary schools nationwide, with over 90 percent of schools responding. School demographics reflect overall national demographics. This study gives a broad scan of the kinds of parent involvement activities that are going on in elementary schools around the country. The study gathered principalsÕ perceptions of involvement efforts, but it did not include information gathered from parents, nor did it attempt to document actual parent involvement initiatives. The primary types of parent involvement activities reported were school-initiated and school-based.

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