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Bringing Families to the Table: Recommendations and Next Steps from the National Policy Forum for Family, School, and Community Engagement
Heather B. Weiss, Elena Lopez & Heidi Rosenberg
To be effective, family, school, and community engagement (FSCE) should be a shared responsibility among all parties, should be continuous from birth to young adulthood, and should take place wherever children learn—in the home, school, and community. Yet, until now, family engagement provisions in federal policies and programs have been piecemeal and insufficient.
Recognizing this problem, the U.S. Department of Education convened a National Policy Forum on Family, School, and Community Engagement in November 2010 to spark new ideas for federal, state, and local policies that can drive these opportunities. A diverse group of parents, community members, education practitioners, philanthropists, and representatives from federal and state agencies shared ideas to help develop a policy strategy that fosters systemic, integrated, and sustainable FSCE in support of student learning.
One year later, this report looks back at the major themes of the Forum discussions and offers a set of recommendations for driving family engagement in education as we move forward. These recommendations include:
ABOUT THE NATIONAL POLICY FORUM FOR FAMILY, SCHOOL, & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
This forum—hosted by the U.S. Department of Education on November 9, 2010—brought together education thought leaders to help inform the Department’s family, school, and community engagement strategy. Harvard Family Research Project and SEDL helped facilitate the event in Washington, DC, and wrote the Working Paper which served as the foundation for the proceedings. At the forum, over two dozen experts engaged in dynamic, interactive discussions about the role of family, school, and community engagement in education reform, providing insights based on their own work and identifying new directions for family engagement in the coming years.