Recent federal and state policies promote school-level parent involvement (PI) (e.g., volunteering), although evidence linking it to both student-level academic performance and school-level outcomes is thin. Using social capital theory and drawing upon a longitudinal sample of public schools (n=914) from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), we examine the relationship of school-level student achievement and the school learning environment to three forms of school-level PI: involvement directed toward school improvement (public-good PI); involvement directed toward parents' own children's schooling (private-good PI); and the formation of social networks among parents (networking). Multilevel modeling analyses revealed that schools characterized by high aggregate levels of parents' public-good PI (participation in PTA/PTO, volunteering, and fundraising) and networking were more likely than other schools to have higher percentages of students at or above national/state standards in math and reading achievement and more likely to show more positive learning environments. School-level socio-economic status (SES) moderated these effects such that aggregate private-good PI and networking related to more positive learning environments and higher school achievement in low-SES schools while aggregate public-good PI brought more benefit within high-SES schools.
Children and Youth Services Review – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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