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Family and parental involvement can have a positive effect on a child's education. Young children whose parents read to them tend to have better language acquisition, literacy development, later achievement in reading comprehension and higher overall success in school School programs that involve parents in their child's education also have been shown to improve math scores. Research has linked family involvement to a variety of positive outcomes, including better school attendance, better social skills, reduced dropout rates, increased graduation rates and higher levels of advancement to the postsecondary level. The benefits of family and parental involvement have been found for students of all ages from all economic, educational, racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The level of parental involvement varies depending on a variety of factors, which can include family structure or cultural and linguistic differences between parents and educators. Parents tend to be more involved in their children's education when they are in elementary school and become less likely to be involved as the child progresses through middle and high school. Parents in higher poverty schools also tend to be less involved than those from lower poverty schools.

One quality that many high achieving schools share is a high level of family and community involvement. The No Child Left Behind Act mandates that schools and local agencies involve parents in the education of their children. Schools receiving Title I funds must use a portion of these funds to develop and notify the community of policies seeking to involve parents, and parents are to be involved in the planning, review and improvement of these programs. Additionally, schools are to develop a parent-school compact that outlines how parents, school staff and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement.

 

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