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ERIC Number: ED539605
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
It Takes a North Carolina Parent: Transforming Education under the No Child Left Behind Act. Recommendations Regarding the Vital Role of Parents and Guardians in Achieving Student and School Success
Parent involvement is widely acknowledged as a central component in both overall school success and the academic success of individual children. Recognizing this, the federal No Child Left Behind Act mandates that states, districts and schools make extraordinary efforts to enhance effective parent involvement. Now, more than six years after the landmark legislation began, parent involvement is still lagging significantly behind optimal levels in many schools and districts. This North Carolina account--which follows a 2006 Appleseed report on parent involvement in six states across the country--describes the knowledge and views of parents, community organization leaders and administrators within three County school districts in North Carolina. In addition, this report highlights an interesting disconnect between the perspectives of parents and the perspectives of administrators, school board members and others inside the education operation. Opinions are at times diametrically opposite on precisely the same subject. For example, administrators say they are good about getting out information to parents, while parents claim they do not receive enough information or background and it is not clearly presented. The General Assembly in North Carolina recognized the communication problem and sought to do something about it. Elected officials appropriated funding to the North Carolina Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to hire professionals, and they bolster the efforts of volunteers in 12 targeted schools. PTA employs strategies that have been proven effective, such as home visits. This report focuses on four major findings, and subsequent recommendations, for education leaders and policymakers: (1) External Barriers: Low socioeconomic status, limited English proficiency (LEP) and varying cultural expectations are among the significant obstacles to parent involvement; (2) Communications Gap: Some parents typically do not receive enough information about their student's progress nor about school-, district- or state-level parent involvement policy; (3) Information Unclear and Untimely: No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation is rarely explained to parents in simple, straightforward terms, and parents do not receive test results in a timely way so they can make choices afforded by the law; and (4) Parents Do Not Feel Welcome: Some parents report feeling alienated by their child's schools and therefore believe they have little say in important educational decisions affecting their child. That sense is especially true in the middle and high school years. Toolkit for districts and schools is appended. (Contains 13 footnotes.)
Appleseed. 727 15th Street NW 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-347-7960; Fax: 202-347-7961; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Authoring Institution: Appleseed
Identifiers - Location: Alabama; Connecticut; Georgia; Illinois; Maryland; New Mexico; North Carolina; Texas; Washington
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001