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Parent Involvement and Educational Outcomes for Latino Students

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Abstract

This study focuses on the determinants and effects of parent involvement in schools, in the context of urban school districts, and particularly with regard to the schools that serve Latino students. Three research questions are investigated in this article: (1) What are schools doing to support parents, foster involvement and engagement in their children's schools, and generally create strong parent-school relations? (2) How effective are schools at fostering parent involvement? (3) Do schools with more effective parent involvement practices and greater parent participation perform at higher levels than those with less effective practices and lower levels of parent involvement? Data on Latino representation on Local School Councils (LSCs), school-level demographic and performance indicators, and information on effective school organization, parent involvement, and school practices regarding outreach and engagement with parents and communities are used to investigate these questions. The empirical analysis demonstrates that in addition to previously established aspects of effective school organization, governing arrangements and Latino political incorporation play a critical role in building stronger, more supportive school–parent relations and in encouraging higher levels of parent involvement in formal school activities. Moreover, these practices and relations were found to have important implications for Latino student performance.

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