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The Parental Involvement Pledge

Our compact is the most widely employed Title I compact in the nation. Compacts recruit volunteers, improves homework completion, boosts school climate, discipline, reading at home and more.

Title I ESSA Project Appleseed

United States Department of Education research finds that learning compacts like the Parental Involvement Pledge have the greatest impact on homework completion, school climate, student discipline, and reading at home. Project Appleseed played a leading role in proposing the Title I legislation that increased parents’ roles as partners with schools to support children’s learning. This approach, centering on school-parent compacts promises to help parents understand how schools and families can work together to enable their children to be successful.

In the Prospects Study, Title I principals were asked to rate the helpfulness of compacts in achieving different types of school and family outcomes. Responses tended to differ by school poverty, with the highest-poverty schools finding compacts most helpful (See chart below). 

About 8 out of 10 principals in high-poverty Title I schools rated compacts as helpful, as did a majority of principals in low-poverty schools. 

  • Across all schools, about 30 percent of the principals considered compacts “very helpful”.

  • Principals perceived compacts as having the greatest impact on homework completion, school climate, student discipline, and reading at home—factors that are amenable to intervention by school-family partnership activities. 

Learning compact data
  • Case studies provide further insights into the compact process. In case studies of five schools that developed strong written compacts, researchers found that in four of the five schools, the compact functioned as a supportive component of a much larger and well-established parent involvement program. In the fifth school, the compact served as the primary catalyst for more intensive involvement by 19 families. 

Data from the Prospects Study of student outcomes provide evidence that when compacts are effectively implemented, positive student outcomes, including higher achievement, result. Schools with compacts were compared with non-compact schools on parental involvement and student achievement. Schools with compacts had higher levels of family involvement in those activities in which parents worked directly with their own children. These activities included parents’ monitoring of homework and reading with their children. 

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The study concluded that, after controlling for other factors, positive student outcomes found in compact schools were associated with the greater involvement of parents in supporting their own children’s learning. Other activities, such as volunteering and decision making, may be valuable in their own right but were not shown to significantly affect learning. 

In a second study from the same time period an examination of ten schools found that four aspects of parent involvement in their own children’s education correlated highly with achievement and other outcomes. These were: the parent caring about what occurred in the (Title I) classroom; the parent encouraging the student to read; the parent keeping track of the child’s progress in school work; and the parent making sure that there was a place for the child to study at home. 

See: Parental Involvement Pledge 10 Step Family Engagement Plan

Promising Results, Continuing Challenges: The Final Report of the National Assessment of Title I, 1999