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Citation:Coffman, J. (2000). The right question project: Capacity building to achieve large-scale sustainable impact. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.

In this case study, the author sets out to show that, to be active partners in their children's education, parents must be able to ask the right questions. The Right Questions Project, a project in Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Indianapolis, helps parents identify educational issues that are important to them and develop their own questions, rather than giving them a list of questions they should ask. This projectÕs way of formulating questions helps parents organize their thoughts, prioritize their concerns, and come up with ways to effectively communicate their concerns. As a result of the study, researchers concluded that the Right Questions Project (RQP) builds permanent skills in parents that can be applied not only in their children's classroom or school, but also in many everyday situations. This case study was developed as part of a three-year grant to the Harvard Family Research Project from the Dewitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund to provide technical assistance to the Fund's family-school-community partnership grantees. Sources gathered during the technical assistance process from 1997 to 2000 and used to inform the writing of the case study included examples of RQP training products, documentation, communication, site visits and staff interviews, participant observation of training, and interviews with RQP methodology users. Although there is no student achievement data provided, RQP's three-tier model of support (self-support through training products, mutual support through networking, and direct support through technical assistance and training tailor-made to meet the specific needs of the organization) provides teachers and school administrators a good model for parent training that could benefit their children's achievement.

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