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Objectives

This study examines how schools situated in different “contexts of reception” go about the critical task of engaging and supporting immigrant parents.

Methods

Using data from the 2003–04 National Center for Educational Statistics’ Schools and Staffing Surveys, we estimate regression models to test the effects of cultural brokers, teacher training, and professional development on school policies and practices specifically designed to engage and support immigrant parents as well as more traditional, school- and home-based parent involvement programs.

Results

We find cultural brokers and school attributes are more strongly associated with the type and magnitude of parent involvement programs in established destinations, whereas teacher training and in-service professional development are most consistently associated with these policies in new destination schools. We also find a strong association between minority principals (African American or Latino) and parent involvement programing in new destinations, suggesting that principals of color are taking an active role in addressing the needs of immigrant and minority parents.

Conclusions

As the U.S. population becomes increasingly multicultural, these findings have important policy implications for both federal and local governments.