Parent involvement in education has been a priority of Iowa PTA and National PTA for more than 100 years. In 1997, National PTA worked with Dr. Joyce L. Epstein of Johns Hopkins University to develop National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs based upon extensive research. The six standards were endorsed by nearly 100 education, health and parent involvement organizations and were included in No Child Left Behind as the federal definition of parent involvement. In 2007, PTA, working with leading experts on parent involvement and community engagement in schools, began to update its National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs. The updated National Standards expand the focus from not only what schools and school districts should do to involve parents, but also to include what parents, schools, and communities can do together to support student success. To reflect this change, the standards have been renamed the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. An effective parent involvement program must be comprehensive and include each of the six standards:
Standard 1 – Welcoming all families
Standard 2 – Communicating effectively
Standard 3 – Supporting student success
Standard 4 – Speaking up for every child
Standard 5 – Sharing power
Standard 6 – Collaborating with Community
Decades of research has proven beyond dispute the positive connection between parent involvement and student success. Effectively engaging parents and families in education can have profound benefits for students, parents, teachers, and overall school quality, such as:
- Higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates
- Better school attendance
- Greater enrollment in postsecondary education
For teachers and administrators
- Greater morale
- Increased teacher effectiveness
- Greater job satisfaction
- Improved communication with teachers
- Increased education skills
- Improved attitude toward school and school personnel
Research has also shown that parent involvement has a positive effect on student behavior. For example:
- When parents are involved, students exhibit more positive attitudes and behavior.
- When students report feeling support from both home and school, they have more self-confidence, feel
- school is more important, and they tend to do better in school.
- Student behaviors such as alcohol use, violence, and other antisocial behaviors decrease as parent
- involvement increases.
NOTE - the word "parent" refers to any adult who plays an important role in a child's family life.
National PTA offers an online guide to assist your school in implementing programs, practices, and policies that are grounded in the National Standards.
For more information about the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, go to: http://www.pta.org/2112.htm
For resources for parents, visit the National PTA website at: www.pta.org
The Building Successful Partnerships (BSP) Program was developed by National PTA and focuses on the six standards described in the National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs. National PTA recognizes that schools with well-structured, consistent parent involvement programs experience great benefits for students, parents, educators, and the overall school community. The book, Building Successful Partnerships, describes the standards and quality indicators for developing parent and family involvement programs.
A copy of "Building Successful Partnerships" can be ordered directly from the publisher, Solution Tree, by:
- calling toll-free (800) 733-6786
- visiting their website at www.solution-tree.com and entering BKF095 in the search box in the upper right hand corner.