The quality and effectiveness of America’s public education system rests upon a foundation of strong, engaged families and communities. NAFSCE believes that policies must be prioritized to support effective and universal family engagement practices that improve children’s learning, and promote equity and opportunity.
Family Engagement is more than an education issue; for many families, it is a civil rights issue. Often, low-income families don’t have access or opportunity to becoming engaged in their child’s education. It is typically misunderstood as a parent’s lack of desire, and that is mistaken. While many of the common barriers to engagement are certainly not the fault of schools, without an intentional and strategic approach to culturally respond to, welcome and engage low-income families, these children are at a distinct disadvantage to achieve. It is time to significantly increase our investment in high-impact family engagement, thereby maximizing the opportunity for families to become learning partners, so that we can close the achievement gap, turn around failing schools, and ensure that all children have the resources and support to realize their dreams. Family engagement is NOT about good public relations. It is about leveraging a parent or caregiver’s expertise about their child in ways that improve instruction, support improved student behavior and increased engagement, ultimately resulting in improved achievement and graduation rates.
NAFSCE calls upon policymakers at all levels to recognize the critical importance of family, school, and community engagement and to employ vigorous, evidence-based policies, strategies, and practices. We invite you to join us in our efforts to advance high-impact family, school and community engagement policies.
NAFSCE Policy Committee Members
Chair: Arnold Fege, President, Public Advocacy for Kids; Member, NAFSCE Board of Directors
Vice Chair: Lacy Wood, Principal TA Consultant, American Institutes for Research; Member, NAFSCE Board of Directors
Oscar Cruz, President & CEO, Families in Schools; Member, NAFSCE Board of Directors Mishaela Duran - Director of the Office of Regional Operations, US Dept. of HHS- ACF
Stella Edwards, Past National PTA Legislation Chair; Associate, Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project
Anne Henderson, Senior Consultant, National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement; Vice Chair, NAFSCE Board of Directors
Debra Jennings, Director, Center for Parent Information and Resources at SPAN, Member, NAFSCE Board of Directors
Robert Mahaffey, Executive Director, Rural School and Community Trust; Vice Chair, Steering Committee, Coalition for Community Schools
Alberto Quintero, Education Programs Professional, Office of Parental Involvement & Family Engagement, Nevada Department of Education
Examples of Past Work of the National Working Group
NAFSCE has continued the work of the National Family, School and Community Engagement Working Group (NWG), founded in 2009 and comprised of the leading researchers, advocates, and practitioners dedicated to advancing this work. Since its founding, the NWG has advised Congress, the White House, and the US Department of Education on family engagement policy and practice.