“Report: Race & Income Play Role In Perception Of Parent Engagement”

“Report: Race & Income Play Role In Perception Of Parent Engagement” is an article reporting on a recent Urban League story.

The results aren’t surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less discouraging. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Race plays a pervasive—and negative—role in perceptions of parent engagement and student achievement, while community-based efforts to bridge racial disparities contribute to greater parent engagement—regardless of race, a new report by the National Urban League Washington Bureau revealed.

The study, Engaged to Achieve: A Community Perspective on How Parents are Engaged in Their Children’s Education, is based on a survey conducted in partnership with the National Voices Project (NVP). Findings show that when there was a difference in how parents were perceived, African-American parents were more commonly perceived as being less aware and less involved in their children’s education than white parents. Authors of the report suggest that when these perceived disparities are not addressed constructively, they may affect the type and depth of parent engagement efforts directed to low-income parents and parents of color.

“The views and opinions of K-12 teachers, school administrators and volunteers are important because they are in positions that directly affect student outcomes,” said Dr. Valerie R. Wilson, Chief Economist for the National Urban League Washington Bureau. “Therefore, what these adults believe about the children and families they serve likely influences their expectations and interactions with these children and families.”

According to the report, African-American parents’ engagement in their children’s education was felt to be more reactive than proactive, i.e. confronting perceived racial bias or addressing discipline issues. In addition, parents who resided in communities where efforts were made to address racial disparities were nearly twice as likely (45 percent vs. 82 percent) to report that they felt more aware of their child’s academic progress than those parents in communities where no such efforts existed. Although these efforts were ostensibly targeted to racial minorities, the lift in awareness was seen across all racial and ethnic lines.

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