Promoting family involvement: An analysis of the role and strategies of Educational Services Teams
Many studies, national and local, document negative disparities in student performance among ethnic and gender groups. Many more studies document that family involvement can be a predictor of student achievement. However, little research examines how schools involve families of students who experience difficulties in the classroom. This study examined action-item assignments from Educational Services Team (EST) meetings for five schools in the Montgomery County, Maryland school district to determine how frequently and in what ways they encouraged family involvement. Family members received significantly fewer assignments than other EST members. The likelihood of family assignments varied significantly by ethnicity, but not by gender. When assignments were grouped into categories, the distribution of assignments by category was not uniform across EST members. The likelihood of assignments in each category did not vary by ethnicity (with the possible exception of the Home Instruction category) nor by gender (with the exception of the Communication category). There was evidence of rote assignment of strategies, varying by school and by ethnic group, but not by gender.