I’ve been publishing parent engagement “The Best…” lists at my other blog, but it seems to be running into some technical problems. Just to be sure that my post doesn’t get lost into cyberspace, I’m published this one here.

There are lots of ideas out there about effective parent engagement/involvement. Here are a few resources that provide useful overviews of the field. You might also be interested in seeing all my parent engagement-related “The Best” lists here.

Here are my choices for The Best Overviews Of Parent Engagement:

Involvement or Engagement? is the title of my lead article in an issue of ASCD Education Leadership.

I wrote Parent Involvement or Parent Engagement? for Learning First.

Solving the Parent Involvement Puzzle is an interview with Anne T. Henderson, who is probably the premiere researcher in the world on parent involvement/engagement issues.

Anne also provided testimony to the United States Senate in 2007 on Effective Strategies for Engaging Parents and Communities in Schools.

The national teacher organization “Teachers Count” published an interview with me that focuses on parent engagement issues.

“Title I and Parent Involvement: Lessons from the Past, Recommendations for the Future” is a new report written by Karen Mapp, one of the authors of the influential parent involvement book, Beyond The Bake Sale. It has a lot of useful information.

Building Local Leadership for Change: A National Scan of Parent Leadership Training Programs is the title of an important new report published by the Annenberg Institute For School Reform. Here’s a short summary from them:

The New York Senate recently authorized the City University of New York to create and operate a Parent Training Center for public school parents that will teach them to more effectively participate in school governance and support students’ educational success — reflecting a growing nationwide interest in parent leadership training.

In this report, Anne Henderson, senior consultant for community organizing and engagement work at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, describes four successful parent leadership training programs around the country, each with a different focus: leadership training, immigrant families, child learning support, and understanding and navigating the educational system. She then examines their structures, curricula, and best practices, and presents the findings of evaluations on their effectiveness.

In her analysis, Henderson offers up six key practices related to program success, as well as recommendations specific to New York City — strategies that can be used by cities and districts nationwide looking to implement similar initiatives.

Anne Henderson, the premiere researcher and writer on parent involvement/engagement issues in the United States, testified before a U.S. Senate hearing on the the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Senate has posted her testimony. It shares a great list of concrete public policy steps that can be taken to encourage parent engagement in schools.

Renee Moore has an excellent article in Teacher Magazine titled Reaping What We’ve Sown: How Schools Fail Low-Income Parents (free registration is required to access the whole piece, but it’s a quick and easy process). As John Norton accurately describes it, the article:

“…challenges those who question whether low-income parents as a group care about their children’s education. All too often, Renee writes, it’s not a lack of caring but a community-wide sense that inequities in the system that have been perpetuated for generations will not change.”

Feedback is welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 780 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.