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ERIC Number: EJ1111064
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1553-541X
"Buy-In" vs. "Allowed In": Lessons Learned in Family Engagement Program Recruitment and Retention
Smetzer-Anderson, Susan; Roessler, Jackie
Voices in Urban Education, n44 p53-63 2016
With support from a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, the FAST (Families and Schools Together) program has been implemented in thirty Philadelphia schools to improve family engagement and, by extension, advance school turnaround. The project team includes the nonprofit Families and Schools Together, Inc.; the Early Childhood Education Department within the School District of Philadelphia (SDP); and a local agency partner in Philadelphia, Turning Points for Children. This article provides an honest discussion of the project's family recruitment challenges, successes, and recommendations; the wise insights parents expressed during focus groups and implications for increasing families' sense of welcome in schools; and an exhortation not to avoid but rather to "advance" into a district in crisis. One of the key lessons learned through this project is that buy-in is not the same as being "allowed in." Buy-in is, at least partially, related to shared vision. Developing alignment--a shared understanding of goals on both sides--requires sufficient time for orientation and planning pre-launch. Over the longer term, buy-in gives a program time to develop the traction and accrue the gains that lead to that sense of reward.
Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Brown University, Box 1985, Providence, RI, 02912. Tel: 401-863-7990; Fax: 401-863-1290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A