Check these helpful online resources to find out about research on how parent involvement affects academic achievement, how to interpret data on school performance and where parents can obtain information that helps them get involved in schools.

Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership

CIPL has trained more than 1,000 parents to take an active role in school improvement. It is a project of the Prichard Commitee for Academic Excellence, an independent citizens’ advocacy group that has worked since 1983 to improve education in Kentucky.

The Education Trust

As part of its mission to raise the quality of education for all students, the Education Trust trains parents as Standards Bearers. It teaches them what grade-level learning standards mean and how they can be used as tools for school reform.

Family Involvement Network of Educators

Part of the Harvard Family Research Project, FINE promotes partnerships between families, communities and schools. The site includes Member Insights and Resources that can help parents make a case for family involvement in schools.

National ParentNet Association 

The NPNA offers a wealth of resources for increasing parent involvement in schools, including articles, success stories, scholarly research, and links to organizations and parenting programs. It is home to ParentNet®, a highly-acclaimed and low cost parent-led process that builds collaborative parent-school partnerships.

The Nation’s Report Card

Produced by the federally funded National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), The Nation’s Report Card is the most authoritative assessment of the skills and knowledge of U.S. students. It’s a good starting point for gathering data to raise parent awareness of the need for academic improvement. For example, NAEP reported only 29% of fourth grade students in the U.S. read at a proficient level in 1998 and only 25% performed at a proficient level in mathematics in 2000.

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education

This organization, which advocates the involvement of parents and families in their children’s education, lists events and resources on its Web site. A special section of the site is devoted to helping children with special needs.

National Network of Partnership Schools

Centered at Johns Hopkins University, the NNPS brings together schools, districts and state departments of education that are committed to school-family-community partnerships.

National PTA

The National PTA lists National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs and suggests project ideas. It encourages schools to apply for a Certification of Excellence, which it awards to those with outstanding parent involvement programs.

Parent Information and Resource Centers

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, these 77 PIRC centers are located in every state except Alaska, Delaware, Nebraska and Oregon. They provide parents with training, information and support for their children’s developmental and educational needs, and help strengthen partnerships between parents and schools.

Parent Institute for Quality Education

PIQE’s mission is to bring schools, parents and communities together as equal partners in the education of every child. It has trained more than 325,000 parents in California and has pilot projects underway in Austin and Phoenix. Although PIQE initially focused on Hispanic parents, it now teaches its nine-week course in 14 languages.

Parents for Public Schools

PPS is a national organization of community-based chapters that work to strengthen public schools through broad-based enrollment. Its Web site has an extensive list of resources for parents who want to get involved.

PTO Today

This site networks parent-teacher organizations of all kinds. PTO Today lists resources for parent group leaders and offers three products: a magazine, online discussion groups and PTO conferences. Among its parent involvement suggestions are “School Family Nights.”

Public Education Network

PEN has produced an 80-page guide called “Using NCLB to Improve Student Achievement: An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders” that can be downloaded free as a PDF file.

Seattle Public Schools

The Family Partnerships Program in Seattle Public Schools includes lots of ideas and resources for family involvement in schools on its Web page.

The Project for School Innovation

This organization has developed a series of books for parents and teachers. “Including Every Parent” highlights a model program of parent involvement that helps drive school success.

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