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ERIC Number: ED464176
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Families as Contractual Partners in Education. Occasional Paper.
Levin, H. M.; Belfield, C. R.
The educational achievements of the young depend on both family and school but are much more dependent on the former than the latter. Educational policy has established an extensive set of legal and contractual obligations for schools. In contrast, the contractual obligation for families is to meet compulsory education requirements. The establishment of performance expectations or contracts between families and society may be an effective way to enhance educational outcomes. This paper investigates the need for, feasibility of, and possible content of such performance expectations by suggesting the construction of metaphorical contracts for families to provide for the education of their children. It begins by documenting the overwhelming ties between socioeconomic status (SES) and student educational results. It then looks at the research literature on what families do that improves educational results for their children (what SES reflects). Next, it considers what a comprehensive family contract that embodied these behaviors would look like. Finally, it adds greater specificity to such a family contract by asking what families can do on their own if properly informed, including low-income families; what families can do with training and support; and what gaps in the contract must be filled by other service providers. (Contains 58 footnotes.) (SM)
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Box 181, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3259; Fax: 212-678-3474; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented for the UCLA Law Review Symposium, "New Forms of Governance: Ceding Public Power to Private Actors" (Los Angeles, CA, March 1, 2002).