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Elephant in the Room. The Skills Gap – According to employers and collage faculty, high school graduates do not have the skills they need to succeed:

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elephant in the room
Elephant in the Room
  • The Skills Gap – According to employers and collage faculty, high school graduates do not have the skills they need to succeed:
    • 72% of employers rate new entrants with only a high school diploma as “deficient” in writing, 54% rate them as “deficient” in mathematics, and 38% rate them as “deficient” in reading comprehension;
    • 70% of employer respondents rate new entrants with only a high school diploma as “deficient” in critical thinking/problem solving (skills that 58% of employers rate as “very important” to on-the-job success); and
    • About three-quarters of postsecondary writing, reading, mathematics and science professors say incoming students are “very poorly” or “poorly” prepared for college-level work in their content areas.

educators plus families improve student learning
Educators plus families improve student learning
  • According to research by Ron Ferguson, home and family factors (including parent education, income, language, background, and race) account for 49% of the influence on student performance…

Results, October 2001. National Staff Development Council

why parents are engaged in their children s learning

Why Parents are Engaged in their Children’s Learning

Illinois Transition Planning Institute

March 22, 2013

  • Understand why parents become involved;
  • Identify strategies for increasing parent involvement; and
  • Prioritize strategies for involving families to enhance your action plan.
parent educator partnership
Parent & Educator Partnership
  • The Parent & Educator Partnership (PEP) is an Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Center (ISTAC) of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
  • The PEP project advances the ISBE's priority to improve the delivery of training and technical assistance to parents of school-age children and educators.
pep mission
PEP Mission

Is to facilitate partnerships, equipping parents and educators to be equal partners in the success of each child.


Parent involvement has been linked to indicators of students achievement:

  • Higher on-time high school graduation rates (SPP Indicator 1)
  • Lower drop-out rates (SPP Indicator 2)
  • Improved grades and test scores (SPP Indicator 3)
  • Fewer discipline referrals (SPP Indicator 4)
why involve parents
Why Involve Parents?

Percent of youth who had IEPs, are no longer in secondary school and who have been competitively employed, enrolled in some type of postsecondary school, or both, within one year of leaving high school (SPP Indicator 14).

parental and teacher impact
Parental and Teacher Impact

Student motivational, cognitive, social, and behavioral attributes are subject to direct parent and teacher influence:

  • “I can do this work.”
  • “I know how to do this work.”
  • “I want to do this work.”
why involve parents1
Why involve parents?

For improved outcomes for all kids!

why do parents become involved
Why do parents become involved?

Hoover-Dempsey, and Sandler - suggests that parents’ involvement is motivated by two parental belief systems:

  • Role construction for involvement
  • Sense of efficacy for helping the child succeed in school
why do parents become involved1
Why do parents become involved?

Hoover-Dempsey, and Sandler – Although strong role construction and efficacy may precipitate involvement, invitations to involvement from members of the school community also serve as an important motivator of involvement because they suggest to the parent that participation in the child’s learning is welcome, valuable, andexpected.

why do parents become involved2
Why do parents become involved?

In summary, parents are more likely to become involved if they:

  • Understand they should be involved;
  • Know they are capable of making a contribution; and
  • Feel invited by their school and child.
family status
Family Status

Role Construction



  • Family responsibilities
  • Energy
  • Inflexible or long hours at work
  • Health – physical and emotional
  • Assumptions by school personnel
  • Trust
  • Perceptions of limited power to change ineffective school practices
  • School-related knowledge and experience
  • Ability to access information
  • Self-perception of low skill and/or ability level
power to respond effectively
Power to respond effectively

Whose children may benefit most from increased, or increasingly effective, involvement?

strategies to
What strategies are:

Currently put in place; and

Possible new practices?

Who is your target?

How will you measure the results?

Strategies to…
challenge go round activity
Challenge-Go-Round Activity

With your table buddies, identify a challenge that you face in engaging families in their child’s education.

At the signal, go ’round the room and write a solution to the next challenge.

When you return to your challenge,select one solution that may work in your district/school.

Choose one person report out to the group.

  • Selection and operationalization of one or more strategies;
  • Identification of involvement motivators to be targeted by the strategy;
  • Development of a plan or intervention to implement the strategy;
  • Implementation of the strategy in school(s), with ongoing documentation of implementation; and
  • Assessment of target and effect variables among participants and intended beneficiaries of the strategy.

Contact Information

Merle Siefken

877-317-2733, ext. 222