Skip to main content

Linking School–Family–Community Partnerships in Urban Elementary Schools to Student Achievement on State Tests

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between the quality of school, family, and community partnership programs and student performance on state-mandated achievement tests. Data from 82 elementary schools, located in a large urban area, were collected to explore the relationship between family and community involvement and students' achievement test performance. Analyses show that, controlling for school characteristics, the degree to which schools were working to overcome challenges to family and community involvement predicted higher percentages of students scoring at or above satisfactory on state achievement tests. The findings suggest that schools' efforts to involve families and the community in students' learning may be a useful approach to help students achieve in school, especially for students in early elementary grades. Also, the findings illustrate the importance for schools located in large urban areas to address obstacles to family and community involvement to realize the benefits associated with family and community involvement.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

REFERENCES

  • Ames, C., DeStefano, L., Watkins, T., and Sheldon, S. (1995). Teachers' School-to-Home Communications and Parent Involvement: The Role of Parent Perceptions and Beliefs. Report 28. Baltimore: Center on Families, Communities, Schools, and Children's Learning, Johns Hopkins University.

  • Balli, S. J., Wedman, J. F., and Demo, D. H. (1998). Family involvement with middle-grades homework; Effects of differential prompting. The Journal of Experimental Education 66:31-48.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowler, M. (2000, November 19). MSPAP is imperfect but gets passing grade. The Baltimore Sun, p. 2B.

  • Clark, R. M. (1983). Family Life and School Achievement: Why Poor Black Children Succeed or Fail. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Comer, J. P. (1988). Educating poor minority children. Scientific American 259:42-48.

    Google Scholar 

  • Comer, J. P., and Haynes, N. M. (1991). Parent involvement in schools: An ecological approach. The Elementary School Journal 91:271-277.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dauber, S. L., and Epstein, J. L. (1993). Parents' attitudes and practices of involvement in inner-city elementary and middle schools. In Chavkin, N. F. (Ed.), Families and Schools in a Pluralistic Society (pp. 53-72). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eccles, J. S., and Harold, R. D. (1996). Family involvement in children's and adolescents' schooling. In Bloom, A., and Bunn, J. F. (Eds.), Family-School Links: How Do They Affect Educational Outcomes? (pp. 3-34). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, J. L. (1991). Effects of teacher practices of parent involvement on student achievement in reading and math. In Silvern, S. (Ed.), Literacy Through Family, Community, and School Interaction (pp. 261-276). Greenwich, CT: JAI.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, J. L. (1995). School/family/community partnerships: Caring for the children we share. Phi Delta Kappan 76:701-712.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, J. L. (2001). School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators and Improving Schools. Boulder, CO: Westview.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, J. L, Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., and Van Voorhis, F. L. (2002). School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action. Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, J. L., and Dauber, S. L. (1991). Schools programs and teacher practices of parent involvement in inner-city elementary and middle schools. Elementary School Journal 91:289-303.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, J. L., and Sheldon, J. L. (2001, August). Focus on Math Achievement: Effects of Family and Community Involvement. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Anaheim, CA.

  • Epstein, J. L., and Sheldon, S. B. (2002). Present and accounted for: Improving student attendance through family and community involvement. Journal of Educational Research 95:308-318.

    Google Scholar 

  • Epstein, J. L., Simon, B. S., and Salinas, K. C. (1997, September). Involving Parents in Homework in the Middle Grades (Research Bulletin 18). Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa/CEDR.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fehrman, P. G., Keith, T. Z., and Reimers, T. M. (1987). Home influence on school learning: Direct and indirect effects of parental involvement on high school grades. Journal of Educational Research 80:330-337.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fine, M. (1993). [Ap]parent involvement: Reflections on parents, power, and urban public schools. Teachers College Record 94:682-710.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haynes, N. M., Emmons, C. L., and Woodruff, D. W. (1998). School development program effects: Linking implementation to outcomes. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk 3:71-85.

    Google Scholar 

  • Henderson, A. T, and Berla, N. (Eds.). (1984). A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement. Columbia, MD: National Committee for Citizens in Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoover-Dempsey, K. V, Bassler, O. C., and Brissie, J. S. (1992). Explorations in parent-school relations. Journal of Educational Research 85:287-294.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoover-Demsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (1997). Why do parents become involved in their children's education. Review of Educational Research, 67:3-42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lareau, A. (1989). Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education. London: Falmer Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marjoribanks, K. (1979). Families and Their Learning Environments. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Muller, C. (1993). Parent involvement and academic achievement: An analysis of family resources available to the child. In Schneider, B., and Coleman, J. S. (Eds.), Parents, Their Children, and Schools (pp. 77-114). Boulder, CO: Westview.

    Google Scholar 

  • Muller, C., and Kerbow, D. (1993). Parent involvement in the home, school, and community. In Schneider, B., and Coleman, J. S. (Eds.), Parents, Their Children, and Schools (pp. 13-42). Boulder, CO: Westview.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reed, R. P., Jones, K. P., Walker, J. M., and Hoover-Dempsey, K. V. (2000, April). Parents' Motivation for Involvement in Children's Education: Testing a Theoretical Model. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans.

  • Sanders, M. G. (1999). Schools' program and progress in the national network of partnership schools. Journal of Educational Research 92:220-229.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sanders, M. G., and Epstein, J. L. (2000). The national network of partnership schools: How research influences educational practice. Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk 5:61-76.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sanders, M. G., Sheldon, S. B., and Epstein, J. L. (2003). Building Schools' Capacity for Partnerships in the National Network of Partnership Schools. Center for Reseatch on the Education of Students Placed At-Risk (CRESPAR). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University.

  • Sheldon, S. B. (2002). Parents' social networks and beliefs as predictors of parent involvement. Elementary School Journal 102:301-316.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sheldon, S. B., and Epstein, J. L. (2002). Improving student behavior and school discipline with family and community involvement. Education and Urban Society 35:4-26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sheldon, S. B., and Van Voorhis, F. L. (2001, August). Identifying Essential Elements of School Partnership Programs and Effects on Family Involvement. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Anaheim.

  • Simon, B. S. (2000). Predictors of High School and Family Partnerships and the Influence of Partnerships on Student Success. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

  • Simon, B. S. (2001). Family involvement in high school: Predictors and effects. NASSP Bulletin 85:8-19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S. D., Dornbusch, S. M., and Darling, N. (1992). Impact of parenting practices on adolescent achievement: Authoritative parenting, school involvement, and encouragement to succeed. Child Development 63:1266-1281.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stevenson, D. L., and Baker, D. P. (1987). The family-school relation and the child's school performance. Child Development 58:1348-1357.

    Google Scholar 

  • Useem, E. L. (1992). Middle schools and math groups: Parents' involvement in children's placement. Sociology of Education 65:263-279.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Voorhis, F. L. (2000). The effects of interactive (TIPS) homework on family involvement and science achievement of middle grade students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville.

  • Van Voorhis, F. L. (2001). Interactive science homework: An experiment in home and school connections. NASSP Bulletin 85:20-32.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Steven B. Sheldon.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sheldon, S.B. Linking School–Family–Community Partnerships in Urban Elementary Schools to Student Achievement on State Tests. The Urban Review 35, 149–165 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023713829693

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023713829693

  • elementary education
  • parent involvement
  • school–family–community partnerships
  • student achievement