The Research

The Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships is built on a foundation of evidence from over 50 years of research. Below are some of the seminal studies that link family engagement to student outcomes.

Bryk, A., & Schneider, B. (2002). Trust in schools: A core resource for improvement. Russell Sage Foundation.

Summary: A longitudinal study of 400 Chicago elementary schools shows the central role of relational trust in building effective education communities.

Bryk, A. S., Sebring, P. B., Allensworth, E., Easton, J. Q., & Luppescu, S. (2010). Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

Overview: This book by current and former researchers from the UChicago Consortium provides a detailed analysis of why students in 100 public elementary schools in Chicago were able to improve substantially in reading and math over a seven year period and students in another 100 schools were not. Using massive longitudinal evidence, the study yields a comprehensive set of school practices and school and community conditions that promote improvement, noting that the absence of these spells stagnation. 

Caspe, M., Lopez, M. E., Chu, A., & Weiss, H. B. (2011). Teaching the teachers: Preparing educators to engage families for student achievement [Issue Brief]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project and Alexandria, VA: National PTA.

Abstract: To be effective, teachers must be prepared to collaborate with families to support student success. Many studies confirm that strong parent-teacher relationships relate to positive student outcomes, such as healthy social development, high student achievement, and high rates of college enrollment. Thus, by giving teachers the support they need to work with families, teacher education programs can have an even greater impact on student achievement. For this reason, some institutions of higher education are already taking innovative steps to prepare teachers to work with families through coursework and hands-on experience in schools during preservice and into their early years of teaching. "Teaching the Teachers" highlights those promising strategies through five case studies, and examines how teacher education programs can create the foundation for meaningful and effective family engagement. This brief describes five core elements necessary for a system of teacher training and professional development in support of family engagement, distilled from the case studies of existing teacher preparation programs. The brief also addresses the policies needed to support this type of teacher preparation system. The five core elements in the system are: (1) Standards for family engagement; (2) Curriculum that advances the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that teachers need to engage families; (3) Collaborations among various stakeholders; (4) Continuing professional development around family engagement; and (5) Evaluation for learning and continuous improvement.

Dearing, E., Kreider, H., & Weiss, H. B. (2008). Increased family involvement in school predicts improved child-teacher relationships and feelings about school for low income children. Marriage & Family Review, 43(3/4), 226–254.

DeCastro, B. S., & Catsambis, S. (2009). Parents still matter: Parental links to the behaviors and future outlook of high school seniors. In N. Hill and R. Chao, (Eds.), Families, schools, and the adolescent: Connecting research, policy, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Henderson, A. T. (2007). Beyond the bake sale: The essential guide to family-school partnerships. The New Press.

Henderson, A.T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family and community connections on student learning. Austin, TX: Southwest Education Development Laboratory.

Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (1997). Why do parents become involved in their children’s education?. Review of educational research, 67(1), 3-42.

Jeynes, W. (2012). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of different types of parental involvement programs for urban students. Urban Education, 47(4), 706–742.

Jeynes, W. H. (2005). A meta-analysis of the relation of parental involvement to urban elementary school student academic achievement. Urban Education, May 2005, 40(3), 237–269.

Jeynes, W. H. (2007). The relationship between parental involvement and urban secondary school student academic achievement. Urban Education, 42(1), 82–110.

Hess, F. M., & Kelly, A. P. (2005). Learning to Lead? What Gets Taught in Principal Preparation Programs. Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University; 

Lightfoot, S. L. (2004). The essential conversation: What parents and teachers can learn from each other. Ballantine Books.

Markow, D., & Pieters, A. (2009). The MetLife survey of the American teacher: Collaborating for student success. New York, NY: MetLife.

Mapp, K. (2011). Title I and parent involvement: Lessons from the past, recommendations for the future. Conference paper prepared for “Tightening Up Title I” symposium, Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise Institute.

Moll, L. C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into practice, 31(2), 132-141.

Patrikakou, E. N., Weissberg, R. P., Redding, S. & Walberg, H. J. (2005). School-family partnerships: Enhancing the academic, social, and emotional learning of children. In E. N. Patrikakou, R. P. Weissberg, S. Redding & H. J. Walberg, (Eds.), School-family partnerships for children’s success. (pp. 1–17). New York: Teacher College Press.

Sheldon, S. B., & Jung, S. B. (2015). The family engagement partnership: Student outcome evaluation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University.

Warren, M. R., & Mapp, K. L. (2011). A match on dry grass: Community organizing as a catalyst for school reform. OUP USA.