Objective. Decades of research suggest that parental involvement is vital for positive student academic achievement and thus one often-proposed solution to alleviate the poor educational outcomes of minority students is to increase their parents' participation in school. Building on a psychological motivation argument, I investigate how the symbolic effects of minority representation impact minority parent involvement.
Method. I test my hypotheses with original survey data from 324 Latino parents in Chicago.
Results. My analysis suggests that, as hypothesized in the symbolic representation literature, Latinos in positions of power within schools send important heuristic cues to Latino parents that change their orientations to participation and ultimately manifest as increased school involvement.
Conclusions. These results support education policies that attempt to increase the minority presence in schools at the administrative and governance levels, and highlight the need for greater enforcement of current diversity requirements under NCLB.