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Implementation and Effects of Family and Community Involvement on Student Achievement in Reading, Math, and Science

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:
Joyce Epstein

CO-INVESTIGATORS:
Mavis G. Sanders, Steven B. Sheldon

CATEGORIES:
Math, Reading, Science

PROJECT OVERVIEW:
Background: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) requires schools to help every student achieve a high level of proficiency in math, reading, and science by 2014. It also requires districts and schools to involve families in ways that will boost student achievement. Yet, most districts and schools are struggling with how to implement effective partnership programs and how to measure the "value added" effects of family and community involvement for student achievement in specific subjects.

Purpose: This proposal is for a five-year, multi-cohort, longitudinal study of the effects of the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) intervention model to increase and improve family and community involvement to support student achievement in reading, math, and science. The project will "scale up" professional development tools, guidelines, and approaches for curriculum-linked involvement activities that have been developed, pilot tested, and shown to (a) produce systemic and sustained change in district and school knowledge, policies, and programs of school, family, and community partnerships, (b) effectively improve the involvement of parents and the community, and (c) increase student reading, math, and science achievement, and other indicators of student success.

Setting: The Main Study will include five cohorts of 10 school districts with 8 schools each for a total sample of 50 districts and 400 schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the U.S.

Research Design: Using random-assignment and strictly-matched samples, and conducting longitudinal hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analyses, we will study the "nested" effects of district policies and leadership on the quality of school programs and practices of family and community involvement, and the contribution of school, family, and community partnerships to student achievement.

Three Special Focus Studies also will be conducted. These include longitudinal studies of (1) case and comparison districts and schools on the processes and results of district leadership, facilitation, and support for school programs of partnership; (2) randomly assigned schools within districts on the effects of "interactive homework" on student achievement in math in the elementary grades and reading/language arts and science in the middle grades; and (3) the effects of the quality of partnership programs on the characteristics and influences of parent social networks on student attitudes and achievement in reading, math, and science.

Findings:
MAIN STUDY: Implementation and Effects of Family and Community Involvement on Student Achievement in Reading, Math, and Science. The Main Study is a 5-year longitudinal study of at least 50 districts and at least 400 schools, designed to extend methods of research on school, family, and community partnerships. The intervention model is testing whether district leadership for partnerships affects the quality of schools' partnership programs and results on student achievement and other indicators of success in school. In the past school year, the Main Study included 24 districts with over 350 schools to implement and evaluate the intervention. The districts and schools provided data at the end of the 04-05 school year. With this information, the research team conducted the first analyses of Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) for this project to learn whether and how district leadership for family and community involvement independently affected the quality of schools' partnership programs and family involvement with children on reading, math, and science, over and above the work of the school-based team for partnerships.

Earlier reports of base-year data at the end of the 03-04 school year examined districts and schools separately (Epstein, in press; Sheldon, in press). The results of that research provided clues about district leadership and school efforts to improve goal-linked partnership programs, as summarized below.

District data: Analyses of base-year data from 69 school districts showed that, regardless of their starting points, district leaders with strong collegial support and who used program planning tools and guidelines, increased their leadership and actions to facilitate their schools in the 03-04 school year (Epstein, in press). The results showed the importance of district leaders attitudes to on-going professional development both in what they give in their districts to help their colleagues understand and support new approaches to school, family, and community partnerships, and what they take from local and national resources to implement and improve their programs. District leaders also reported on their schools progress in implementing partnership programs. The analyses indicated that although general leadership on partnerships (e.g., identify a leader, organize an office, establish a budget, write annual plans) was associated with the leaders reports of schools progress (B=.343, p<.01), direct assistance to schools was even more strongly linked to reports of schools' progress on partnerships (B=.575, p<001). District leaders' facilitation and support explained more than twice the variance in reported schools progress on partnerships (43%) as leadership structure (20%).

Importantly, neither district size nor poverty level (percent free- and reduced-price lunch) significantly affected district leaders' reports of leadership and facilitation activities or schools progress on partnerships. The results confirmed that district leaders could go beyond old patterns of monitoring schools for compliance on federal regulations. Instead, leaders could provide direct assistance to help schools organize teams, write plans, and build skills for conducting effective family and community partnership programs, as directed by NCLB.

School data: Base-year data from 462 schools that were working with NNPS for more than one year were used to explore how well schools addressed requirements for family involvement in NCLB, Section 1118. Regression analyses controlled for school background (grade levels and urbanicity), team structure (frequency of meeting and committee structure), principal support, district support, and prior levels of attention to NCLB (Sheldon, in press). The analyses showed that continuity of effort on program development was important, as schools that previously implemented more NCLB requirements for family involvement continued to do so in the 2003-04 school year. The analyses also confirmed that elementary schools addressed NCLB requirements more than did secondary schools. After controlling for school level and the prior year's work, results showed that schools implemented more NCLB requirements for parent involvement if they had well organized Action Teams for Partnerships that met regularly, strong principal support, and reported that they received more direct facilitation from their district leaders (B=.186, .249, .139, respectively, all significant at p<.000).

When schools' Action Teams for Partnerships met on a regular schedule, they were more likely to increase the number of family and community involvement activities required by NCLB. Also, although principal turnover was negatively associated with the extent of implementation of NCLB requirements for family involvement, principal support for family involvement in well-organized partnership programs compensated for the disruption that often occurs when leaders change. Finally, schools' reports that they were supported by their districts on partnerships alert us to the need for multi-level analyses to understand the effects of the work on partnerships at the school and district levels.

2005 data. Combined data from 24 districts and 356 schools were used to conduct the first nested HLM analyses of the influence of district leadership on partnership program development. The new analyses were reported at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Epstein, Galindo, Sheldon, and Williams, 2006).

HLM unconditional analyses indicated that there was enough between-district variance in basic program implementation (16%) and advanced implementation to meet challenges to reach all families (7%) to explore the relationships between district characteristics and these two outcome variables.

One set of analyses examined school-level and district-level influences on the quality of the schools' basic partnership program implementation. Implementation was stronger if Action Teams reported strong support from their principals (B=.54, p<.001) and positive experiences with district support (B=.38, p<.001) for their work on partnerships. Further, schools had higher quality program implementation, over and above the influence of school-level variables, if their district leaders conducted strong partnership programs with many leadership and facilitative activities (B=.92, p<.001). By including the school-level and district-level characteristics, 15% of the within-district variance and 84% of the between-district variance in quality of implementation identified in the unconditional model were explained.

A second set of analyses explored school and district influences on schools' outreach to involve all families and to improve the quality of activities for six types of involvement. Regardless of grade level, schools implemented more actions to meet these challenges if their Action Teams reported strong principal support (B=.10, p<.001) and positive experiences with district support (B=.04, p<.01) for their work on partnerships. Over and above the school level influences, schools implemented more actions to meet challenges to involve all families if their district leaders conducted strong partnership programs with many leadership and facilitative activities, (B=.10, p<.001). These analyses explained 19% of the within-district variance and 59% of the between-district variance in program outreach.

A final exploration included the quality of schools' program implementation as an explanatory variable to better understand how schools addressed advanced implementation challenges to involve increasing involvement. This measure served as a proxy for a longitudinal measure of partnership program development, which was not available in 2005 for this sample. Over and above school level and district level influences, schools that had a stronger basic program implementations were significantly more likely to take steps to address outreach challenges to involve all families and improve the quality of implementation of six types of involvement (B=.05, p<.001). This analysis increased the percent of within-district variance explained, compared to the less-well specified models (27% vs. 19%).

Importantly, school and district poverty levels measured by the percentage of students receiving free- or reduced-price meals and the presence or lack of Title 1 funding had no significant effects on the quality of program implementation or outreach to involve all families. Economically-stressed and advantaged schools and districts were about equally able to organize viable partnership programs and implement advanced actions to improve outreach, if they experienced support at the school level and support and guidance from their district leaders.
The Main Study's analyses of data from the 04-05 school year, provides strong evidence that schools develop higher quality partnership programs if there is active multi-level leadership within and outside the school. Schools had higher quality partnership program implementation and more outreach to diverse families with school-based support and if district leaders had more advanced partnership programs. This study also extends concepts of distributed or shared leadership to include educators, parents, and community members as partners in planning and implementing programs of family and community involvement.

Data collection for the 05-06 school year is presently in the field. With these data, the Main Study will have a larger sample of districts and their schools and will be able to conduct the first longitudinal HLM analyses of the impact of district leadership on the quality of school partnership programs with the sites from 05 that also provide 06 data. Analyses over the next two years will pay particular attention to the multi-level effects of participation of parents in activities to support and boost students' learning and attitudes in reading, math, and science.

SPECIAL FOCUS STUDY #1: Understanding the Nature and Effects of District Leadership on School Programs of Partnerships. This study proceeded in 3 school districts to extend the Main Study with in-depth information on how district leadership on partnerships is organized, how districts facilitate the work of their schools on partnerships, and how district leadership is perceived and assessed by schools Action Teams for Partnerships in diverse communities. All three districts have high commitment to developing partnership programs and have identified leaders for partnerships. However, they vary from low to high in how much the district leaders guide individual schools to develop their school-based partnership programs. The districts also vary in the continuity and change of district leaders and program development. The study will test Coburn's (2003) framework for understanding the scaling up processes of school reform and inform district and school policies on partnership program implementation.

Data at the district level include interviews with key district leaders for partnerships, observations of district level partnership activities, and the collection and review of supporting documents. Data from schools in each district include interviews with principals, partnership teams, school visits and observations, and related documents.

In the first set of studies reported last year, PI Dr. Mavis Sanders analyzed patterns of leadership in the high-facilitation, suburban district in the study (Sanders, 2005). She found evidence of depth, sustainability, and ownership of the NNPS intervention model in the district and in the first set of schools that were facilitated by the district leaders, but slow spread to other schools due, in part, to lack of district-level personnel. Sanders identified five factors from these analyses that may explain districts' progress in scaling up the NNPS intervention model: (1) the priority given to family and community involvement in the district; (2) adequacy of funding for staff and programs; (3) active leadership and participation in networking activities; (4) the clarity of focus of district leaders' responsibilities; and (5) the leaders' level of passion for and commitment to new approaches to school, family, and community partnerships.

In the 05-06 school year, data collection continued in the suburban (District A) and rural (District B) districts for the second year. As scheduled, in summer 2005, a third district was added for intensive qualitative study. This district is an urban district in the northeastern United States (District C). Data collection in District C followed the same protocol established for Districts A and B.

New data were reported in two papers at the 2006 annual meeting of AERA. One focused on data-based decision-making and district leadership for school, family, and community partnerships (Sanders, 2006a). The analyses showed that the case district's family and community involvement specialist was successful in using different kinds of data to achieve various goals to improve and sustain the districts' partnership program development. For example, data on family outreach activities from school based teams for school, family, and community partnerships enabled the district specialist to document and guide the work of school-based parent liaisons and improve their outreach to involve families in the academic achievement of targeted students.

The successful use of data was not without challenges, however. To be useful, data must be collected, compiled, analyzed, and presented in a form that is accessible to broad and diverse audiences. Without a support staff, the specialist had to be creative in finding personnel to assist in these data management activities. A work-study student and a committed family liaison have been critical to the specialist's ability to manage the variety of data that are continuously collected for program planning and improvement. In each case, the specialist, a trained biologist comfortable with data analysis and interpretation, has had to build the capacity of others to work effectively with these data. Thus, one challenge that district leaders must address is finding or building the skilled support necessary to manage and report data so that they are used purposively. The specialist's close affiliation with NNPS has helped her address this second challenge. She attended several workshops on using data in program development offered at NNPS leadership conferences. The conferences provided time and space for district leaders to engage in dialogue about data with each other and NNPS researchers.

A second paper in 2006 focused on district collaboration with a community-based organization to support program implementation and sustainability (Sanders, 2006b). Analyses were based on data from an in-depth case study of one community-based parent involvement organization (CPIO) in an urban district in the northeast United States. The results suggested that the CPIO was successful in empowering its members to become more involved in the education of students in the district. Further, the data showed that district leaders worked collaboratively with the CPIO to promote and sustain the implementation of the NNPS intervention model for school, family, and community partnerships in the district. The interactions of district leaders for partnerships and the CPIO have, arguably, been aided by NNPS, which provided a conceptual framework, vocabulary, and core principles around which both organizations could agree, along with tools, information, and professional development opportunities that helped the CPIO minimize the knowledge gap between educators and family and community members. This collaborative relationship may serve as a model for other districts seeking to improve community and parent involvement and bridge the power divide that relegates many families to the periphery of school, family, and community partnerships. The reports, to date, on data from Special Focus Study #1 will be revised, based on conference feedback, and submitted for publication.

Next steps. Data collection will continue in Districts A, B, and C in the 2006-07 school year. The inquiries will focus on monitoring progress and change on partnership program development in the districts and in selected case schools. In August 2006, a fourth district will be added to this project. This suburban district is located in the Midwest and has been a member of the National Network of Partnership Schools for a decade. Final analyses and reports over the next two years will focus on the work of leaders for partnerships in four districts that differ in size, racial and socioeconomic composition, geographic location, and leadership structure. Analyses will explore the factors that contribute to district leadership and program sustainability. It is expected that Special Focus Study #1 will generate important insights into partnership program development for family and community involvement in students' learning and school success.

SPECIAL FOCUS STUDY #2: Experimental Study of the Effects of Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) Interactive Homework on Student Achievement in Math, Reading/Language Arts, and Science.
TIPS Math. The study of the effects of TIPS interactive homework in math in the elementary grades completed the second year of the planned two-year intervention with Hamilton County Schools, the public school system of Chattanooga, TN. The first and second waves of the study involved working with 8 elementary school teachers in 4 similar elementary schools. At each school, one teacher implemented TIPS math homework assignments weekly in one classroom and the other teacher used regular homework assignments (control) in one classroom.

In both years, data were collected every 9 weeks on the schedule and progress of teachers' implementations of the TIPS activities, children's homework, tests, and grades, and other information. Other longitudinal data include surveys of students, parents, and teachers, which are presently in the field. These surveys were tested for their psychometric properties and have high internal reliabilities. All data will be coded, entered, and cleaned for initial and final analyses of the 2-year impact of family involvement with math homework.

In May 2005, the eight third grade teachers collected student and family surveys from all TIPS and Control students in the study. About 93% of students and 90% of the families returned surveys on their experiences and ideas about math homework. The data for the 2-year TIPS MATH study will be analyzed fully, as planned over the next school year. Preliminary analyses of the data revealed several positive results of TIPS with Grade 3 students:

  • TIPS students returned an average of 91% of the 30 assigned TIPS interactive homework assignments.
  • 96% of TIPS students and 100% of TIPS families agreed that TIPS math is a good idea.
  • Significantly more TIPS students and families reported that they liked working on TIPS Math homework than Control students and families reported liking to work on regular math homework.
  • Though 60% of Control students agreed that their parents needed more information from the school to help with math homework, only 44% of TIPS students did so.
  • TIPS parents indicated significantly more positive feelings than did Control families concerning working on math homework with their children.

    Presently, the fourth grade teachers are administering surveys to students and families in TIPS and Control classes.

    Preliminary data from the fall term of 05-06 suggest that TIPS-Math was a promising process for fourth graders. For the first nine weeks of this school year, TIPS students returned an average of 89% of assignments. The average accuracy of assignments was above 80%, and 80% of assignments were signed by a family partner. Analyses of the 2006 surveys, the longitudinal effects of TIPS, and data on students' achievement test scores for both years of the study will be conducted next.

    TIPS Language Arts. A 2-year study of the effects of TIPS interactive homework in language arts in the middle grades was initiated in the 2005-06 school year in Hamilton County Schools, the public school system of Chattanooga, TN. The sample includes three middle schools and seven teachers of classes of sixth grade students and families. Because of the schools' configurations, there are a total of 9 TIPS classes taught by 4 teachers (6 classes in a regular middle school and 3 classes in a magnet school) and 6 Control classes taught by 3 teachers (4 classes in a regular middle school and 2 classes in a magnet school).

    Teachers collected homework assignments and reported on students report card grades every nine weeks. Presently, the teachers are administering surveys to students and families in the TIPS and Control classes about Language Arts homework. The same protocol for the TIPS Math Study is being followed for TIPS Language Arts.

    In the first nine weeks of the 2005-06 school year, preliminary analyses of the data collected from Grade 6 Language Arts classes indicate:

  • The average TIPS interactive homework return rate was 82%.
  • The average accuracy of TIPS assignments was 72%.
  • Sixty-three (63%) percent of TIPS assignments were returned with a parent signature.

    The students in this study will progress to the seventh grade in the fall of 06. A summer TIPS training workshop will be conducted for the TIPS Language Arts Grade 7 teachers in June 2006, in Chattanooga, TN. TIPS teachers will develop, create, or adapt 30 TIPS language arts activities for their Grade 7 curriculum, which will be assigned to students throughout the 2006-07 school year. Control teachers also will be notified of data collection procedures at that time.

    The survey data and the full year of homework and achievement data collected throughout the 05-06 school year will be analyzed in the next grant period.

    TIPS Science. The 2-year study of the effects of TIPS interactive homework in science in the middle grades (Grades 7 and 8) will begin its first year of the intervention with Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, NC in the fall of 2006. At least 2 similar Title I middle schools will be identified in the coming weeks for work with 7th grade science teachers in Year 1 of the study. TIPS training will take place in Greensboro, NC sometime in July or August of 2006. The teachers will develop, create, or adapt 25-30 TIPS science activities for their Grade 7 curriculum, which will be assigned to students throughout the 2006-07 school year. The same protocol for collecting data on homework, achievement test scores, and surveys will be followed for the TIPS Science study as for the other two subjects.

    SPECIAL FOCUS STUDY #3: Effects of the Quality of School Programs of Partnership on Parent Social Networks and their Impact on Student Achievement in Reading, Math, and Science. This longitudinal study is exploring whether the quality of elementary and middle schools' programs of family and community involvement affects the formation of parents' social networks, communications between home and school, interactions among parents, parent involvement beliefs and actions concerning students' skills in reading, math, and science, and, ultimately, results for student achievement. By following elementary and middle grades students, families, and school programs for two years, the study will identify developmental patterns in parents social networks, parents communications with students about achievement, and results for students of parental support.

    Saint Paul Public Schools are participating in the study, including 6 elementary and 3 middle schools. Formal agreements were made with the districts' director of partnerships, research and evaluation office, and the principals and key contacts in the participating schools. The schools, all intent on developing programs of school, family, and community partnerships, vary in the strength of their parent involvement programs, as measured in the base-line year of work with the intervention model. It is hypothesized that the quality of schools programs of partnership will affect the nature of parents social networks, parents' confidence, attitudes, and influence on students.

    Surveys and parent consent forms were written in English and translated into Spanish, Hmong, and Somali for parents who do not speak or read English. The surveys for parents included measures of their beliefs about parents responsibilities; efficacy; present involvement actions; social networks; frequency of conversations with other parents about students reading, math, and science schoolwork; contacts with schools; and demographics. The surveys for students included measures of student attitudes; interactions with parents on reading, math, and science; experiences at school; and demographics.

    Using the first wave of data collected in the 2004-05 school year, PI Dr. Steven Sheldon tested the various scales for their psychometric qualities. Of particular interest was the scale created for this study, which measures the frequency of parents' conversations and content of information exchanges with other parents. Exploratory factor analyses found that the 14 items of this scale loaded onto a single factor, explaining 68.5% of the variance in the scores, with a Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.965. Analyses of the internal reliability of the other scales developed from the surveys of students and parents also were sound. The questionnaires now are available for other researchers, graduate students, and practitioners to use, and have been shared with others for their studies of school and family practices of involvement.

    The data collected for the 04-05 school year have been coded and initial analyses completed. Two papers based on these data were presented at the April 2006 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

    The first study analyzed data from over 500 parents to extend prior research by the PI (Sheldon, 2002) on the extent to which parental beliefs, social network size and conversations, interactions with the school, and background characteristics predict parents' involvement at school, monitoring schoolwork, parent involvement in reading, and parent involvement in math (Sheldon, 2006a). Results showed that after controlling for background characteristics, parents' frequency of conversations with other parents about school, interactions with schools, and parental beliefs significantly predicted the frequency of all types of parent involvement activities. Further, the study adds new information that with demographic characteristics, parents' own beliefs, and schools' outreach efforts controlled, the social ties and relationships parents maintain with other parents predicted parent involvement at school, monitoring schoolwork, involvement with reading, and involvement with math. This study provides clues that parents social capital may affect students education and achievement, by enabling their parents to be more supportive of their children's education. These provocative patterns will be checked with longitudinal data in the next grant period.

    The second paper used data from the schools, parents, and students to show that middle/junior high schools with stronger programs of school, family, and community partnerships had parents who reported more outreach by their children's schools to get them involved. Parents in these schools were more involved in their children's education than were parents whose children attended schools with weaker partnership programs (Sheldon, 2006b).

    For this paper, only cases that included parent and student data were analyzed (n=486). The largest proportion of families identified themselves as Asian-American (39.8%), followed by White (27.2%), African-American (16.4%), and Hispanic (7.2%). Almost 70% of the children received free- or reduced-price lunches and 44% of the students are identified as English Language Learners.

    Analyses revealed that students with parents who were more involved at school and who more closely monitored their schoolwork at home felt more confident about their own ability to succeed in school. The preliminary analyses suggested that school outreach helped increase parental involvement in the middle grades and that parental involvement was associated with student motivation and attitudes toward the school. The results suggest three main conclusions:

  • Program quality relates to school outreach and levels of parent involvement.
  • Parents are more likely to be involved in their children's education if the school encourages them to do so.
  • Students' attitudes about themselves and their relationships with the school are related to the extent and ways in which parents are involved in their education.

    The second wave of data collection for the 2005-06 school year is presently underway. Students and families are being followed, longitudinally, from the 5th grade to the 6th grade in the participating elementary schools and from the 7th grade to the 8th grade in the participating middle schools. The patterns of results should help researchers and educators better understand the development of parents' social networks and their links to schools' partnership programs, parent involvement activities, and student success in school.

    Next steps. The preliminary results will be tested with fuller analyses. Longitudinal data from students, parents, and the schools, including data on achievement, will be analyzed in the next grant period on schedule.

    PROJECT PUBLICATIONS:
    Selected Publications for Research Audiences

    Epstein, J. L. (2005a). Attainable goals? The spirit and letter of the No Child Left Behind Act on parental involvement. Sociology of Education, 78(2): 179-182.

    Epstein, J. L. (2005b). Links in a professional development chain: Preservice and inservice education for effective programs of school, family, and community partnerships. The New Educator, 1(2) 125-141.

    Epstein, J. L. (2005c). Results of the Partnership Schools-CSR model for student achievement over three years. Elementary School Journal, 106, 151-170.

    Epstein, J. L. (in press). Research meets policy and practice: How are school districts addressing NCLB requirements for parental involvement? In A. R. Sadovnik, J. O Day, G. Bohrnstedt, and K. Borman (Eds.). No Child Left Behind and the reduction of the achievement gap: Sociological perspectives on federal educational policy. NY: Routledge.

    Epstein, J. L. & Sanders, M. G. (2006). Prospects for change: Preparing educators for school, family, and community partnerships. Peabody Journal of Education, 81(2), 81-120.

    Epstein, J. L. & Sheldon, S. B. (2006). Moving forward: Ideas for research on school, family, and community partnerships. Pp. 117-137 in C. F. Conrad & R. Serlin (Eds.) SAGE Handbook for research in education: Engaging ideas and enriching inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Sanders, M. G. (2005). Building school-community partnerships: Collaborating for student success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Sanders, M.G. (2006). Missteps in team leadership: The experiences of six novice teachers in three urban schools. Urban Education, 41(3): 277-304.

    Sanders, M. & Campbell, T. (In press). Securing the ties that bind: Community involvement and the educational success of African-American students. In J. Jackson (ed), Strengthening the educational pipeline for African Americans: Informing policy and practice. SUNY Press. Buffalo: New York.

    Sanders, M. G. & Lewis, K. C. (2005). Building bridges toward excellence: Community involvement in high school. High School Journal, 88(3):1-9.

    Sanders, M.G., & Lewis, K. (In press). Partnerships at an urban high school: Meeting the parent involvement requirements of No Child Left Behind. E-Journal of Teaching and Learning in Diverse Settings.

    Sanders, M., Sheldon, S. & Epstein, J. (In press). Improving schools partnership programs in the National Network of Partnership Schools. Journal of Educational Research and Policy Studies, 4(2).

    Sheldon, S. B. (2005). Testing a structural equations model of partnership program implementation and parent involvement. The Elementary School Journal, 106, 171-187.

    Sheldon, S. B. (In press). Getting families involved with NCLB: Factors affecting schools enactment of federal policy. In A. R. Sadovnik, J. O Day, G. Bohrnstedt, and K. Borman (Eds.). No Child Left Behind and the reduction of the achievement gap: Sociological perspectives on federal educational policy. NY: Routledge.

    Sheldon, S. B. & Epstein, J. L. (2004). Getting students to school: Using family and community involvement to reduce chronic absenteeism. School and Community Journal, 4(2), 39-56.

    Sheldon, S. B. & Epstein, J. L. (2005a). Involvement counts: Family and community partnerships and math achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 98(4): 196-206.

    Sheldon, S. B. & Epstein, J. L. (2005b). School programs of family and community involvement to support children's reading and literacy development across the grades. Pp. 107-138 in J. Flood & P. Anders (Eds.) Literacy development of students in urban schools: Research and policy. Newark, DE: International Reading Association (IRA).

    Sheldon, S. B. & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2004). Partnership programs in U.S. schools: Their development and relationship to family involvement outcomes. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 15, 125-148.

    Van Voorhis, F. L. (2004). Reflecting on the homework ritual: Assignments and designs. Theory Into Practice, 43, 205-212.

    Van Voorhis, F. L. & Sheldon, S. B. (2004) Principals roles in the development of U.S. programs of school, family, and community partnerships. International Journal of Educational Research, 41(1), 55-70.

    Selected Publications for Policy and Practical Audiences

    Epstein, J. L. (2004). How middle schools can meet NCLB requirements for family involvement. Middle Ground (NMSA), 8(1):14-17.

    Epstein, J. L. & Salinas, K. C. (2004). Partnering with families and communities. Educational Leadership, 61(8):12-18.

    Epstein, J. L. (2005). School, family, and community partnerships in the middle grades. Pp. 77-96 in T. O. Erb, (Ed.). This We Believe in action: Implementing successful middle level schools. Westerville, OH: National Middle School Association.

    Salinas, K. C., & Jansorn, N. R. (2004). Promising Partnership Practices 2004. Baltimore: Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships, Johns Hopkins University.
    Salinas, K. C., Maushard, M., Brownstein, J. I., & Waxman, S. (2005). Promising Partnership Practices 2005. Baltimore: Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships.

    Selected Presentations to Research Audiences

    2006 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April, San Francisco

    Symposium: Linking Research and Practice to Improve District and School Programs
    of Family and Community Involvement for Student Success

    Epstein, J. L., Galindo, C., Sheldon, S. B., and Williams, K. J. Levels of Leadership: Understanding District Influence on Schools Programs of Family and Community Involvement
    Sanders, M. G. Using Data to Develop and Sustain School, Family, and Community Partnerships: A District Case Study
    Sheldon, S. B. Making the Connections: How School Outreach Contributes to Family and Student Outcomes
    Also at 2006 AERA:

    Epstein, J. L. & Sheldon, S. B. Moving Forward: Ideas for Research on School, Family, and Community Partnerships. In Symposium on: Ideas for Advancing Meaningful and Enriched Educational Inquiry (SAGE Handbook for research in education: Engaging ideas and enriching inquiry).

    Sanders, M. G. Power Equalizers? How A Community-Based Organization Supports School, Family, and Community Partnerships in an Urban School District

    Sheldon, S. B. Parents' Social Networks: Looking at Social Capital and Parental Involvement

    Sheldon, S. B. Discussant: Bridging Home and School, Paper Session

    13th International Roundtable on Research and Program Development
    Bi-Annual Activity of the International Network of Scholars on School, Family, and Community Partnerships (Johns Hopkins University)

    In April 2006, Dr. Epstein, Dr. Van Voorhis, and Mr. Williams organized the 13th International Roundtable on School, Family, and Community Partnerships, conducted for one full day at the time of AERA, April 7, in San Francisco, CA. Over 40 presentations by researchers from 15 nations were made on various topics of school, family, and community partnerships, including researchers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, England, Hong Kong, Israel. Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, and the United States. Over 140 research and program development colleagues attended. Drs. Epstein, Sheldon, Galindo, and Project Staff Hutchins, Greenfeld, and Williams participated at the Roundtable.

    2005 Annual Meeting of the American sociological Association, August, Philadelphia

    Epstein, J. L. Research meets policy and practice: How are school districts addressing NCLB requirements for family involvement? Sociology of Education Section No Child Left Behind Conference conducted at the ASA meetings.

    Sheldon, S. B. Getting families involved with NCLB: Factors affecting schools enactment of federal policy. Sociology of Education Section No Child Left Behind Conference conducted at the ASA meetings.

    2005 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April, Montreal

    Symposium: Policy Meets Practice: How Well Are Schools and Districts Dealing with NCLB Requirements for Parental Involvement?
    Sheldon, S. B: Schools Enactments of NCLB Requirements for Family and Community Involvement in Students Learning: Tracking Progress and Identifying Predictors
    Sanders, M. G.: Helping Low-Performing Schools Leave No Child Behind: A Case Study in District Leadership for School, Family, and Community Partnerships
    Epstein, J. L., Williams, K. J., &. Jansorn, N. R.: Using Data to Understand Districts Actions on NCLB Requirements for Family Involvement
    Epstein, J. L.: Panelist: Research and Evaluation of Family Involvement in Education:
    What Lies Ahead
    ?

    Epstein, J. L. Discussant: Family and School Connections: Asian American/Canadian Perspectives

    Sanders, M. G. Partnerships in an Urban High School: Meeting the Parent Involvement Requirements of No Child Left Behind

    Sheldon, S. B. Discussant: The Parent Factor

    Van Voorhis, F. L. Experimental Study of the Effects of TIPS Interactive Homework on Student Achievement in Math, Reading/Language Arts, and Science. Presentation and training workshops in Chattanooga, TN.

    2004 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August, San Francisco

    Epstein, J. L. Discussant, Paper Session: Parent Involvement

    Epstein, J. L. Moderator, NCLB Mini-Conference: Parental Involvement Session

    Sheldon, S. B. Testing the Effects of School, Family, and Community Partnership Programs on Student Outcomes