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Dear FINE Member,

Here are this month's FINE member announcements. Please feel free to forward this information to friends and other education colleagues.

New on the FINE Website

  • Teaching Case: Making a Decision About College: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

    How can schools and colleges support a Latina student's aspirations for higher education? The teaching case, Making a Decision About College: Should I Stay or Should I Go?, considers a young woman's dilemma in deciding whether or not to leave her family to go to college in a distant part of the country.

    Two experts offer case commentaries. Concha Delgado-Gaitan, author of numerous books and articles on families and communities, shares her own experience leaving her traditional Mexican family for college. She describes the importance of creating empowered parent organizations to transform schools and to prepare parents for their children's transition to college. Read her commentary.

    Irina Todorova, a postdoctoral scholar at the Harvard Immigration Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, writes, “Rather than being an impediment, family obligations have been shown to be associated with academic success. Succeeding in school itself can be seen as an obligation and duty to the family.” Read the entire commentary.

  • University of Texas, El Paso, Teacher Education Program Update

    Through Project PODEMOS (Parents Only Deepen Education, Making Our Students Succeed), preservice teachers use action research to enhance their knowledge and skills in family involvement. Professor Judith Munter provides an update on UTEP's field-based program (first featured in FINE Forum e-newsletter, Issue 2, Summer/Fall 2001), which includes preservice teacher projects in organizing parent nights with a science and social studies focus, home visiting with inservice teachers as mentors, and adult literacy and computer skills development through a family literacy program.

Suggested Reading

  • Why Do They Give the Good Classes to Some and Not to Others? Latino Parent Narratives of Struggle in a College Access Program

    This article by Susan Auerbach in Teachers College Record (2002, vol. 104, pp. 1369-1392) examines the personal narratives of working-class Latino parents as they struggle to support their children who are enrolled in an experimental college program in a metropolitan high school.

  • Designing and Implementing Two-Way Bilingual Programs: A Step-by-Step Guide for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents

    This book by Margarita Espino Calderon and Liliana Minaya-Rowe (Corwin Press, November, 2002) explains in detail how to plan, start, and implement an effective dual immersion program. Three chapters are specifically devoted to involving teachers and parents in the design and implementation of such programs.

  • Minority Student Achievement Network Student Survey

    How important is parent motivation in student effort and achievement? A survey of high school students from the Minority Student Achievement Network shows that over half of each student ethnic subgroup reports that pleasing parents is a motivator for working hard in school.

Recent Reports

  • A Right to Know: A Parent-Teacher Strategy to Improve Teaching and Learning in the Philadelphia Public Schools

    This report by the Temple University Center for Public Policy and the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project examines school reform in Philadelphia. Produced by parents and teachers in Philadelphia, the lessons learned have implications in all school districts. The report includes research-based best practices for improving urban districts, parent and teacher opinions on how to improve schools, and an analysis of policy at the federal, state, and local levels.

  • Homeschooling in the United States: 1999

    Why do parents homeschool their children? The Parent Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program examines parents' answers to this question. The report also provides an estimate of the number of homeschooled students in the U.S., the characteristics of the students and their families, and types of public school support for homeschooling.

  • Efforts by Public K-8 Schools to Involve Parents in Children's Education: Do School and Parent Reports Agree?

    Data from the National Center for Education Statistics point to discrepancies in school and parent reports about family educational involvement. These discrepancies tend to be more pronounced in urban schools and large schools.

Upcoming Conferences

  • The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE)

    If you are attending the ATE Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, look for two collaborative presentations on February 18 by several FINE members: a symposium discussing issues in preparing teachers to involve families, and a multiple paper session highlighting promising methods for preparing teachers to involve families.

  • The National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University

    The March 13–14 Leadership Development Conference in Baltimore, Maryland will focus on the No Child Left Behind Act.

  • The Parent Services Project (PSP)

    The PSP Family Support and Skill-Building Institute will be held on March 21–22 at the Fort Mason Conference Center, San Francisco, California.

New Toolkits

  • Multilingual Parent/Family Feedback Surveys

    The Minnesota Public Schools have created a Family Feedback Survey for classroom teachers to use. It is available online in English, Spanish, Hmong, Lao, and Somali (with Vietnamese coming soon).

  • Bridging Multiple Worlds Toolkit

    The Bridging Multiple Worlds Project provides activities to help youth, staff, teachers, and community partners build pathways to college and career for students. The toolkit is specifically designed for a diverse student body.

  • School Improvement by Design

    Improve schools by involving the community. This website from Area Education Agency 7 in Iowa offers specific tools and processes for involving the community, making a plan, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting progress.

  • Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

    How can parents help their children succeed in and out of school? Two new resources respond to this question. Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence addresses the concerns of parents in developing independence, values, and academic motivation in 10- to 14-year-olds. In Helping Your Child Succeed in School parents can find tips for talking with their children and encouraging schoolwork as well as skill-building activities for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Policy Page

  • Final Regulations for No Child Left Behind Act

    Final Regulations for the No Child Left Behind Act cover Title I, accountability, parent options, and teacher quality.

  • No Child Left Behind: What's in It for Parents?

    How can parents use the No Child Left Behind Act to advocate for quality education? This recent report from the National Coalition of Parents in Education and Parent Leadership Associates delineates six key points for parents and community leaders to consider when advocating for their child's education.

  • Parent Involvement Policies and the Law

    What can parents do to comply with the parent involvement provision of the No Child Left Behind Act? A new resource from the National PTA explains the provisions for the parent involvement policy required under the new law and provides suggestions for parents to find more information and to become more involved.

  • Using Title I Programs as a Model for Reform Conference

    In the Fall of 2002 the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education hosted four regional meetings to assist states and districts in effective implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. You can get more information, including handouts and slideshows from the meetings on their website.

Website to Watch

  • Pathways to Outcomes

    This website provides information about “what works” to improve targeted outcomes for children and families. Developed by Pathways Mapping Initiative of Harvard University's Project on Effective Interventions, in partnership with the Casey Foundation's Technical Assistance Resource Center (TARC), the website includes information about effective community efforts to ensure that all children are ready for school at the time of school entry.

Contact Us

Have a problem with the website or questions and comments concerning our work? Send an email to fine@gse.harvard.edu.

Enjoy!

FINE - The Family Involvement Network of Educators

© 2014 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project