Friday, May 12, 2006

News Flash: Research links school communication with student success

Via the National School Board Association's (NSBA) Board Buzz:

On May 9th, the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) released a white paper showing a clear link between schools' communications with their students' homes and student achievement.

Here's the headline: "Communication to boost parental involvement and develop better understanding of what schools do is critical to student achievement." (I don't make this stuff up!)

Yes, this is a "duh" moment, but sometimes people only believe things if they're backed up with research -- even if it's common sense. Among the NSPRA's findings:
  • Parents and pricipals cite lack of time as the most common barrier to increased involvement, but research identifies lack of planning for partnerships and lack of mutual understanding as the two greatest barriers to effective family involvement.
  • In schools where teachers reported high levels of outreach to parents, test scores grew at a rate 40 percent higher than in schools where teachers reported low levels of outreach.
  • While 98 percent of teachers believe that effective teachers need to work with students' families and 90 percent see it as one of their school's priorities, they also find that is the area for which they feel least prepared.
If you've been following JIS Topics lately, you'll know that one issue the school is dealing with is keeping parents in the loop on their students' performance in class. This research (along with the JIS Topics informal poll of parent perception on the amount of work returned home) shows that schools are wise to consciously examine their policies and practices when it comes to keeping the lines of communications open and active between school and home.

Contact for a copy of the report.


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