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“Making Data Matter in Family Engagement,” by HFRP's Heather Weiss and M. Elena Lopez, is a chapter in the Handbook on Family and Community Engagement, by Sam Redding, Marilyn Murphy, & Pam Sheley (Eds.).

States and school districts have spent over one billion dollars in the last decade to build and implement student performance data systems. Yet families are rarely brought into discussions about the important implications of all of this data. Armed with meaningful information about how their child is performing in school, families are better able to support learning and school success. Additionally, collective data about student performance can help families and community leaders take action with schools on improvement strategies.

Harvard Family Research Project's Heather Weiss and M. Elena Lopez authored “Making Data Matter in Family Engagement,” a chapter in the recently published Handbook on Family and Community Engagement. The chapter (beginning on page 22) explores how to make student data accessible, meaningful, and actionable for families, and profiles examples of districts currently using data to enlist families as partners in supporting educational goals. Additionally, the chapter highlights how data on schoolwide performance can support parent and community organizations as they advocate for change.

About the Handbook on Family and Community Engagement
The Handbook, published by the Academic Development Institute and the Center on Innovation & Improvement, is available on the families-schools.org website and provides educators, community leaders, and parents with an extensive overview of research and practice in the family engagement field. Authored by many of the leading experts in the field, the Handbook offers a range of perspectives on why and how families, communities, and schools collaborate with each other.

Not available from HFRP but can be downloaded from the family-schools.org website (6 mb PDF).

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