A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Family Involvement in Children's Education - October 1997


We well know that when educators, families, and communities work together, schools get better. As a result, students get the high quality education they need to lead productive lives. Yet various barriers in the school, home, and community often prevent strong partnerships from developing.

This Idea Book describes how some schools and their communities have overcome key barriers--finding the time, increasing their information about each other, bridging school-family differences, improving schools, and tapping external supports to strengthen school-family partnerships.

The report concludes that successful partnerships require the sustained mutual collaboration and support of school staffs and families at home and at school. Businesses or community groups can also help schools and families to work together.

This Idea Book is one of an occasional series issued by the U.S. Department of Education to provide promising ideas to educators and community leaders on the critical issues we face together. It is designed for school administrators, teachers, policymakers, and parents to help families become more active participants in their children's education.

This Idea Book is based on case studies of 20 successful education programs around the country. They include elementary and secondary schools and districtwide programs that receive Title I funds from the U.S. Department of Education. What these schools have done with low-income students and their families can be done by all schools.

Also, an ongoing source of assistance and networking opportunities can be found in the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education. If you are interested in joining the Partnership, call 1-800-USA-LEARN.

In addition, schools that are working to build family-school-community partnerships focused on critical education issues may find "A Compact for Learning: An Action Handbook for School-Family-Community Partnerships" to be helpful. It can be ordered free of charge by calling 1-800-USA-LEARN.

I encourage you to draw on the ideas in this book and the successes of the profiled schools to improve your schools, to strengthen school relationships with families, and to help all children learn more.

Richard W. Riley
Secretary of Education


[Acknowledgments] [Table of Contents] [Executive Summary]