This research examines the success or failure of an initiative to help improve positive parental participation in their child's academic and behavioral outcomes.
A number of initiatives were discovered during the literature review. However, the ones found used a passive approach to parental participation. They did not utilize education of the parents, but relied on conditions and resources within the school setting. This study differs in that it requires an active participatory role by parents. It also adds the educational element lacking in other programs for the same purpose. The addition of the educational as well as action-based elements is expected to have better outcomes on student improvement than more passive approaches to the problem.
Selected Solutions/Calendar Plan
The initiative chosen for the study will be developed through a cooperative effort between teachers, administrators, and the research staff. The proposed calendar would have the initiative ready to institute by the beginning of the 2009/2010 school year. The study would be completed in June of 2010, with the results and final report available by July 2010.
Chapter V: Results and Recommendations
The results of the study indicate that students whose parents participated in the initiative experienced measurable improvement in all three areas of concern. They had an average Grade Point Average that was 10 points higher than students whose parents did not participate in the program. For students with no previous behavioral problems, no noticeable results were observed. However, for children with previously problematic behavioral problems, the results were dramatic. In some cases, the number of negative behaviors had been reduced to zero by the end of the school year. Attitudes tended to demonstrate a long-term improvement, rather than a sudden one. However, general attitudes were much better by the end of the year in the group that received the intervention, as compared to the control group. The initiative was considered to have resulted in a considerable improvement over those that did not receive the intervention.
One of the key Concerns discovered during this research was a lack of parental involvement in the education of their middle school children. One of the more disturbing findings was that parental involvement was not a priority in the Mission and Responsibilities of the Texas Education Agency (2009). When parents become involved in the education of their children, it has positive results on test scores and other educational outcomes. The mission of the Texas Education Agency is to improve the academic outcomes of school children. Yet, their methods and policies do not match what research demonstrates as to the importance of parental involvement in the educational system.
One of the key components of a successful educational system is parental involvement. Yet, the TEA does not address this issue of concern. One of the key recommendations that came from this research is the need to develop firm policies on the state level that address the need for greater parental involvement in the education of all school children. The initiative studied in this research demonstrated a proven ability to increase parental involvement. This had a markedly positive outcome on Middle School grades and test scores. This initiative would make an excellent starting point for the introduction of similar initiatives in the Texas school system.
It is further recommended that the TEA support and provide the financing and resources for the establishment of initiatives that promote greater parental involvement for all children. Parental involvement at the middle school level is an area of particular interest, as this parental involvement at this time of emotional and educational transition is especially important. Supporting parental involvement at the middle school level is an essential, but to date overlooked, aspect of achieving the goals set forth by the Texas Education Agency.
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