Together, Better: Improving the Impact of Family Feedback to Build More Equitable Schools
This study considers how schools can improve their structures and practices for family engagement to optimize the use and impact of family feedback to create transformational and equitable school and family collaborations. Changes in school demographics and family engagement work due to COVID, alongside a racial reckoning that emerged with the murder of George Floyd and fueled a backlash against a range of efforts to achieve greater inclusiveness of the nation’s cultural pluralism. Within education, this dynamic most notably manifested in distortions of critical race theory, which led to legislation banning its teaching across schools, including public universities in some states. It also impacted notions of parent engagement as some sought to expand and amplify the voices of marginalized parents while others worked to block those efforts through the political weaponization of the fears of White parents. Ultimately, this demands a renewed interest in parents’ role in education with particular attention on intentionally designed processes and tools to help schools cultivate authentic and meaningful partnerships with families that represent their school community is more important than ever.