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ERIC Number: ED520146
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Addressing Achievement Gaps: The Family--America's Smallest School. Policy Notes. Volume 19, Number 1, Winter 2011
Yaffe, Deborah
Educational Testing Service
When parents are married and employed, when they turn off the television and monitor homework, their children are more likely to succeed in school. Today, however, many families are struggling, and their struggles contribute to the stubborn achievement gap separating low-income and minority students from their more affluent White and Asian peers. Education reformers have focused on what happens inside classrooms, but the impact of family means that school reform alone cannot eliminate the achievement gap. An array of programs aimed at strengthening families--home visits to expectant mothers, marriage and fatherhood training, high-quality early childhood education, efforts to involve parents in schools--promises a way out of this dilemma, though not all such programs produce the results they promise. Meanwhile, scholars and advocates wrestle with the complicated question of whether families' struggles stem from the problematic behavior of individuals, or from larger social, political and economic forces beyond their control. The challenge of helping families prepare their children for school success was the subject of "The Family: America's Smallest School," the 14th in the Educational Testing Service's series of "Addressing Achievement Gaps" symposia, launched in 2003. The conference was held October 18, 2010, in Washington, D.C., and featured presentations by 15 academics, advocates and government officials. This issue of "Policy Notes" provides an overview of the conference, which included sessions on the following topics: (1) the "Fragile Families" study and its implications for education; (2) research and practice in early childhood education, fatherhood education and parental involvement in schools; (3) federal efforts at marriage promotion; and (4) federal efforts to involve families in schools. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Policy Information Center