ERIC Number: ED430695
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Open Doors, Closed Doors: Home-School Partnerships in a Large Bronx Elementary School.
Although efforts to support family-school partnerships are a prominent part of strategies for improving education for at-risk students, in communities with wide home/school cultural differences, such "partnerships" often operate on a superficial level involving one-way compliance to school norms. This study examined home-school partnerships in a New York City school, focusing on two families whose children attended the same fifth grade classroom in 1996-97. Members of the Ruiz Vega family and the Arjay family were interviewed and visited at home several times. Clarissa Ruiz had severe reading problems that were overlooked at school because she did not call attention to herself. The study maintains that her parents were not the aggressive advocates that school personnel believed necessary because of their own poor school experiences, lack of skills, and the intimidation of parents inherent in school practices. Luther Arjay had considerable difficulty in completing homework. His mother and school personnel identified the reason for the difficulty and implemented a solution. Mrs. Arjay had a great deal of support from a parent-teacher program sponsored by Lehman College in Luther's fifth grade and was determined to enroll him in the best middle school she could find. The study concluded that the attitudinal changes required to foster the mutual respect necessary to form effective partnerships must be deep and widespread, and must involve transforming the whole school culture. At this school, other reform efforts openly contradicted the effort to foster school-family partnerships. Thus, some families found the door to partnership open, and others found it closed. (Contains 26 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A