Policy Documents

School-Family Partnerships:

Walberg, et al. –
January 3, 2003

School–family partnerships (SFPs) have been the focus of research, policy, and practice efforts for several years. Increasing the interest in SFPs has been the finding that when schools and families cooperate closely, children benefit. The more supportive links there are between settings, the more potential there is for healthy development. Such strong findings have been reflected in major legislation implemented by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). For example, in 1990, the National Education Goals Panel proclaimed increased parental participation in education as a key goal.

The panel proposed that state and local education agencies work together to develop partnership programs to meet the needs of children and parents. Programs would support the academic work of children at home, promote shared decision making at school, and hold schools and teachers accountable for high standards of achievement. In the years since the panel’s proposal, the goal has not been fully met, making parent participation still a largely untapped resource.