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Effects of at-home reading activities and parental involvement on classroom reading scores: Focus on the middle school level

Dissertation
Author: Linetta Carter
Abstract:
This dissertation was written collaboratively by Cynthia Warren, Linetta Carter, and George Edwards with the exception of chapter 4 which is the individual effort of the aforementioned researchers. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of at-home reading activities and parental involvement on classroom reading scores with the focus on the middle school level. A total of 150 students from two inner city schools and one suburban school were chosen for the multi-method research. Students' reading scores were evaluated and their parents were interviewed. A collaborative study involving three investigators was conducted to determine if there was a relationship between at-home reading activities and student success on academic achievement on the elementary, middle, and high school levels. This study may help educators and administrators understand the vital importance of developing early and continual reading experiences at home. Identifying the effect that consistent parental involvement has on reading proficiency may also assist school districts with bilingual populations in the development of a variety of programs that would involve parents in reading and language arts in the schools. There is an increasing level of accountability in the area of reading. The No Child Left Behind ACT of 2001 (NCLB) mandated that school districts achieve an average yearly progress in reading for students 3rd through 8th grade and 11th grade. With that as the primary focus for student achievement, there needs to be a paradigm shift that is inclusive of many facets of parental involvement. Results that emerged were (a) parents' educational level does not adversely interfere with students' reading performance; (b) parents' support was very important in the child's literacy development; (c) school and home cooperative support impacted classroom reading tests scores; (d) reading to the child at home, regardless the language used, had a measurable impact on the student's literacy; and (e) children who received parental support at home progressed significantly. The key finding was parental involvement, no matter how great or small, had a positive impact on student success.

iv Table of Contents List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………….vii List of Figures………………………………………………………………………...…viii Chapter One—Introduction………………………………………………………………..1 Background of the Problem……………………………………………………….1 Research Problem…………………………………………………………………2 Purpose of the Study………………………………………………………………6 Significance of the Study………………………………………………………….7 Research Questions….….………………………………………………………..11 Hypotheses………………………………………………………………………12 Rationale…………………………………………………………………………13 Limitations……………………………………………………………………….14 Definition of Terms………………………………………………………………15 Summary………………………………………………………………………....17 Chapter Two—Literature Review ………………………………………………………18 Introduction….….………………………………………………………………..18 The Teaching of Reading….….………………………………………………….19 Parental involvement in their child’s literacy development……………….22 Initiatives and programs on reading……………………………………….29 Successful reading programs integrating parental involvement…………...35 Correlation between parent involvement and student success…………….46 School Performance….….……………………………………………………….53 A New Way of Learning…….….………………………………………………..55

v Potential Impact of Parent Involvement….……………………………………...59 Parent Involvement Models….….……………………………………………….62 Forms of Parent Involvement….………………………………………………...68 Contrasting Viewpoint….….…………………………………………………….72 Summary…………………………………………………………………………76 Chapter Three-Research Methodology….….……………………………………………81 Overview…….….………………………………………………………………..81 Rationale for the Method….….………………………………………………….84 Instrumentation………………………………………………………..…………85 Sampling and Data Collection…….….………………………………………….88 Role of the Researcher…………………………………………………………... 89 Procedure……………….….…………………………………………………….89 Participants and Data Sample……………………………………………………91 Description of Schools….….…………………………………………………….91 School A…………………………………………………………………...91 School B…………………………………………………………………...91 School C…………………………………………………………………...92 Effectiveness of Interview and Questionnaire….….…………………………….92 Data Analysis…….….…………………………………………………………...93 Validity….……………………………………………………………………….96 Ethical Issues…….………………………………………………………………98 Informed consent………………………………………………………….99 Anonymity…………………………………………………………………99

vi Confidentiality…………………………………………………………….100 Summary…….………………………………………………………………….100 Chapter Four—Results and Findings …………………………………………………102 Presentation and Analysis of the Findings……………………………………...102 Grade of children………………………………………………………….102 Highest education level completed………………………………………..103 Parental Questionnaire Results…………………………………………....……104 Posttest Scores Analysis and Summary of All Grade Levels—Elementary, Middle, and High School…………………………………………......….......…120 Family Literacy Progress Analysis……………………………………………..125 Summary of the Findings……………………………………………………….128 Chapter Five—Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations ……………………….130 Discussion………………………………………………………………………130 Conclusions……………………………………………………………………..135 Recommendations for future research………………………………………….144 Conclusion of the Finding at the Elementary Level……….….….…………….148 References.….….….….….….….……………………………………………………....150 Appendix A: Bibliography ……………………………………………………………...167 Appendix B: Questionnaire……………………………………………………………..177 Appendix C: Consent to Participate in Research ……………………………………….178 Appendix D: Parent Progress Phone Log……………………………………………….180 Appendix E: Institutional Review Board Approval …………………………………….181 Professional Vita ………………………………………………………………………..182

vii List of Tables Table 1 Research Questions Aligned with Epstein’s Parent Involvement Strategies..….95 Table 2 Elementary School Data Table………………………………………………..122 Table 3 Middle School Data Table: t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Unequal Variances………………………………………………………………………..123 Table 4 High School Data Table: t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Unequal Variances..125 Table 5 Progress Phone Log Data……………………………………………………...128 Table 6 Illustration of Outcome by Grade Level to Reveal Emerging Patterns of Parent Involvement Strategies………………………………………………………….132

viii

List of Figures Figure 1. Distribution of students by gender…………………………………………...103 Figure 2. Highest education level completed. ………………………………………….104 Figure 3. Elementary school children like coming to school. ………………………….105 Figure 4. Elementary children’s parents who feel the staff communicates well……….106 Figure 5. Elementary children’s parents who contact the school often………………...107 Figure 6. Elementary children’s parents who believe the work challenges their child...108 Figure 7. Elementary parents who volunteer regularly………………………………...108 Figure 8. Elementary school parents who feel homework is important………………..109 Figure 9. Elementary school parents whose children talk about school often…………110 Figure 10. Elementary school parents who believe homework supports learning……..111 Figure 11. Elementary school parents who attend organization meetings………….…..111 Figure 12. Elementary school students who have a designated study time…………….112 Figure 13. Parents who talk to their elementary school students about future plans. …..113 Figure 14. Elementary school student’s family discusses maintaining grades…………113 Figure 15. Elementary school parents can help with homework……………………….114 Figure 16. Elementary school students have literacy time at home…………………….115 Figure 17. Elementary school students have home support at school………………….115 Figure 18. Elementary school families discuss rules about television………………….116 Figure 19. Elementary school teachers inform parents…………………………………117 Figure 20. Elementary school helps parents and students set goals……………………117 Figure 21. Elementary school parents belong to parent–teacher organization…………118

ix Figure 22. Elementary school parent–teacher organization help develop parent leaders…………………………………………………………………………..119 Figure 23. Elementary school encourages parent and community involvement……….119 Figure 24. Elementary school parents talk with children about high school plans……..120

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Chapter One—Introduction Background of the Problem Knowing how to read is essential to succeed in society. The ability to read is not only valued for social advancement but also plays an important role in economic advancement. Nationwide estimates of children in today’s schools who do not read well or experience reading difficulties are less familiar with academic success. Parents and teachers know that reading failure creates long-term negative consequences for children (Armbruster, Lehr, & Osborn, 2001). Student success can possibly be linked to how well a student reads in the early academic years. Those students are more likely to graduate. However, students who are considered challenged readers in the early academic grades are more likely not to graduate. Knowing how to read is very important at school, in the work place, and in daily living. In order to develop reading skills in a child, it is of vital importance for parents to provide a print-rich environment at home. A variety of books and any other forms of print appropriate for the child’s age should be accessible to children at home. Children need to be exposed to all types of print beginning in their early developing years and extending throughout their school years. The purpose of this study was to determine how at-home reading activities impacted reading and reading scores. The researchers examined such activities at three academic levels: elementary, middle, and high school. At the elementary level, activities that addressed (a) reading for fluency, understanding, and comprehension; (b) the use of graphic organizers to aid

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comprehension; (c) identifying main idea and character traits; (d) vocabulary building; and (e) summarizing text were used to support the study. For the middle school level, activities used to support the study focused on (a) main idea (fiction and non-fiction); (b) the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why); (c) writing a summarizing paragraph of a selected passage; (d) practicing getting to the point in writing; and (e) the introduction of the five-paragraph essay. The high school level activities included (a) articles that encouraged abstract reasoning; (b) vocabulary preparation for college entrance exams; and (c) text that promoted learning that caused answers to be developed based on a set of internalized skills. Research Problem Children’s home experiences have a profound effect on their academic achievement. Literacy emerges when parents become engaged in their children’s activities, literate environment, and daily experiences (Anderson, 2000). Even before children enter school, they need to develop an appreciation for and familiarity with text. Informal reading strategies would be introduced at home through activities such as picture identification and letter sounds which parents use to teach their toddlers language recognition. In fact, children who read well come from homes where there are plenty of books, magazines, and newspapers and in which everyone reads. Children who read well have parents who read aloud to them, talk to them, limit television viewing, and take an interest in their reading progress (Baker, 2000; Battiato, Walker, Reed, DeJong, & Jones, 2001).

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Education research suggests that schooling outcomes are greatly influenced by family background (Coleman, 2001; Kerbow & Bernhardt, 2002; White, 2001). Although that finding is significant, it provides little insight into the mechanisms that connect students’ background and home life to their success or failure in school. Efforts to clarify the relationship often have focused on family-and individual-level variables, such as ethnicity, family composition, and socioeconomic status (SES). Although it seems clear that structural factors do affect educational outcomes, the process by which this influence occurs is complex (Coleman, 2001; Kerbow & Bernhardt; Lareau, 1987). One potential link between family background and student achievement is parent involvement in the schooling process (Epstein, 2006; Stevenson & Baker, 2002). Several studies suggest that parent involvement, a factor positively associated with high SES, improves student attitudes toward school, homework habits, school attendance, and overall level of academic achievement (Astone & McLanahan, 2001; Epstein, 2006; Lareau; Stevenson & Baker). Because of the positive relationship between parent involvement and student achievement, the factors that influence involvement are of considerable interest to policymakers. Thus far, however, studies of parent involvement have not provided a clear understanding of the mechanisms that encourage parents to become engaged in their child’s education (Kerbow & Bernhardt, 2002). One reason for that deficiency may stem from researchers’ tendency to overemphasize static, individual-level factors like SES, ethnicity, and family structure (Astone & McLanahan, 2001). In some cases, the stability of the factors has led researchers to overly deterministic conclusions concerning the relationship between social class and a student’s ability to benefit from education

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(Bowles & Gintis, 2006). Although persuasive, those arguments typically do not consider the role of larger social processes in the distribution of student achievement. That omission suggests the need for a new research agenda that moves beyond individual- and family-level factors to school-level factors that may be more easily manipulated by teachers and administrators (Sui-Chu & Willms, 2001). Carefully defining parent involvement in school is a necessary precondition for identifying the factors that influence it (Epstein, 2002; Keith, 1999). However, developing a clear definition of such a multifaceted concept is not easy. Parent involvement encompasses a broad range of parenting behavior, ranging from discussion with children about homework to attendance at parent–teacher organization (PTO) meetings. According to Dimock, O’Donoghue, and Robb (2001) there are five basic categories of parent involvement. The first category, school choice, refers to parents’ selection of educational institutions and experiences for their children. Although school choice is not yet a widespread practice, this movement seems to be gaining momentum (Murphy, 2006). In the second type of parent involvement, decision making through formal structures, parents sit on school councils or governance groups where they are expected to take part in the collaborative administration of the school. This type of involvement is typically the result of school restructuring efforts that devolve decision-making authority from the central district office to individual schools. The third category, involvement in teaching and learning, refers to parent involvement in the classroom (when parents volunteer), out of the classroom (when parents converse with teachers), and at home (when parents help with homework and

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discuss school-related issues). The fourth category, effect on the physical and material environment, concerns efforts by parents to ensure a safe and comfortable school environment for their children. Finally, Dimock et al. (2001) discussed parents’ role in communicating between home and school. The authors suggested that in this category, parents play an important role when they contact the school and when they receive communication about student progress, school rules, and student behavior. Although those categories provide a useful framework for analyzing various types of parent involvement, they are not specific enough to measure parent activity in a statistically meaningful way. Fortunately, several quantitative measures of parent involvement have been developed. Most of those measures fall into the teaching and learning or communication categories of Dimock et al.(2001). Milne, Myers, Rosenthal, and Ginsburg (2005), for example, focused on issues such as the degree to which parents help with homework, their attendance at parent–teacher conferences, and the relationship between parent behaviors and student achievement. The authors also examined three variables that measure the time children spend on homework, watch television, or read. In another study, Astone and McLanahan (2001) studied measures related to at-home supervision, discussions in the home, observed school progress, and parent aspirations. Findings in both of the studies suggested a positive association between parent involvement and student achievement. That measure included several indicators of parent involvement with emphasis on four variables: home discussion, home guidance, school communication, and participation (Sussel, Carr, & Hartman, 2000). According to the variety of definitions presented in the preceding paragraphs and the ways in which they have been used, it may be determined that parent involvement is a

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multidimensional construct (Sui-Chu & Willms, 2001). Sui-Chu and Willms found that of the four types of parent involvement they identified, student–parent discussion in the home was the most powerful predictor of student academic achievement. However, they also observed that there was little variation among schools using that construct. The lack of variation led them to conclude that school-level factors have little or no effect on parent behavior in the home. In other words, even though schools differ from one another, their differences do not seem to be related to parent behavior with children outside of school. Parent communication with the school and parent participation in volunteering and PTO membership, on the other hand, were constructs that were more heavily influenced by school characteristics. In those categories, Sui-Chu and Willms’ findings were similar to the results of Kerbow and Bernhardt (2002), which used the same data set to report that school factors are responsible for up to 18.5% of the variation in “formal” parent involvement, such as volunteering and PTO membership. Those findings lend credence to the assumption that schools have the ability to improve levels of parent participation in the schooling process. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of at-home reading activities and parental involvement on classroom reading scores with the main focus on the eighth grade level. The focus of this study was to determine if parent involvement in education leads to better performance by the child in the testing environment. Parents influence children in far-reaching ways including environments in which they are not physically present. Simple parent expectation, coupled with the child’s desire to please the parent, can influence testing success in a way that has little to do with the actual learning

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environment. Reynolds and Clements (2005) found that indicators of parent involvement are associated with higher levels of school performance. However, even though the evidence supports their hypothesis, there is little movement in a significant number of schools to support plans that nurture and develop programs that facilitate parent involvement in the upper grades. Parents are essential elements of child development and integral assets to the child’s concept of capability and success (Caplan, 2000). Furthermore, children of families who are involved in their education tend to test better, receive higher grades, participate more in extracurricular activities, have better attendance, and exhibit more positive attitudes and behaviors than those children whose parents and families are not involved in their education (Caplan). Henderson (2002) found that parent involvement in the early years dwindles in the middle and high school years; if involvement fades in the later years, so may the academic success of the student. Moreover, studies have shown that those students considered most at risk have the most to gain when schools facilitate family-involvement programs (Caplan, 2000). However, because of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) mandate and its reliance on testing as the predominant indicator of student academic success, the need for more research linking parent involvement and testing success in the upper grades is necessary. In order to determine to what extent parental involvement affects student test scores in the high school environment where parents have traditionally taken a more passive role, more research is needed. Significance of the Study The results of this study may help educators understand the vital importance of parental support at home in helping with the development of early-reading experiences

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among students. Identifying the effect of consistent parental involvement in the students’ reading proficiency may also help administrators in school districts with bilingual programs to develop a variety of programs that would involve parents in reading and language arts in the schools. Perhaps the most widely recognized theory that helps to explain differences in the level of parent involvement is in Bourdieu’s (2004) theory of cultural capital. According to that theory, schools represent and reproduce middle-or upper-class values and forms of communication. Schools embody those values because teachers come from predominantly middle-or upper-class backgrounds. The teachers are able to communicate effectively with middle-and upper-class parents who share similar beliefs but have difficulty relating to parents who come from a different cultural frame of reference. That bias toward middle-or upper-class values puts working-class students and parents at a distinct disadvantage because they must adapt to the dominant culture of the school to meet teacher expectations. That process promotes the involvement of middle- and upper- class parents and limits the involvement of those with lower SES. On the basis of that observation, Bourdieu theorized that differences in the level of parent involvement can lead to the reproduction of status associations among groups of students. Lareau (1987) borrowed Bourdieu’s (2004) notion of cultural capital but related it more directly to parent involvement. Lareau (1987) stated that “indicators of cultural capital: (a) the amount of interaction a parent has with other parents, (b) parents’ understanding of school processes, (c) amount of contact parents have with school personnel, and (d) parents’ communication skills”(pp.70-74). In a qualitative study, Lareau used those indicators to determine the “upper-middle-class parents were more

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likely to become involved in school activities, whereas working-class parents were more likely to embrace” a supportive but less involved role (Haghighat, 2005, p. 216). Lareau also found “that teachers gave better evaluations to students whose parents were involved” in the school. Those findings are important because they suggest that cultural capital, brought to life in the form of parent involvement, can influence student achievement. Although the idea of cultural capital informs many theories related to parent involvement, a similar construct termed social capital also appears frequently in the literature. Developed by Coleman (1988), social capital “refers to social networks available to parents that enhance a student’s ability to benefit from educational opportunities” (pp. 95-120). According to Coleman (2001), schools’ social structures have an influence on student achievement. However, some schools focus on strong relationships with families (i.e., they possess more social capital) and are therefore able to promote higher levels of achievement. Other factors that influence social capital include the school’s understanding of its obligation to students, parents’ knowledge of the school system, and the existence of norms that support high student achievement (Coleman, 2001). The similarity between those factors and ones identified by Lareau are striking. Coleman, however, did not tackle the issue of social reproduction directly. From his perspective, social networks are a resource available to all parents and students rather than a mechanism that regulates the distribution of student achievement. Another theory that helps to explain differences in levels of parent involvement was reported by Bowles and Gintis (2006). Those researchers suggested that there are major structural differences among schools in relation to the social class they serve. From

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that perspective, schools in working-class areas have a tendency to be more regimented and controlled by the school administration, whereas those in wealthy areas favor more participatory forms of governance and pedagogy. Bowles and Gintis reported that those differences are related to workplace values and are representative of the varying expectations of teachers and parents from backgrounds of different classes. On the basis of that theory, parents from poor communities, on average, are less involved in their schools than are parents from wealthier communities. The theories introduced in the preceding paragraphs provide a foundation for empirical exploration because they emphasize several reasons that may help to explain differences in parent involvement both in and across schools. Bourdieu (2004) and Lareau (2002) identified some of the hidden biases in schools that may influence parents’ level of involvement; Coleman (2001) noted differences in the social networks available to parents from different types of schools. In addition, Bowles and Gintis (2006) suggested that schools serving different social classes may encourage different levels of parent participation. Parent involvement in school education has been shown to foster positive learning outcomes (Epstein, 1995). Fan and Chen (2001) suggested that relationships between schools and families must be improved if children’s education is to be optimized. In recent years, the Hong Kong government has given increasing attention to home-school co-operation. The Home-School co-operation promotes such efforts in the region. A University of Hong Kong team conducted a territory-wide study to investigate the practices, perceptions, and attitudes of the various actors in the school system. The ensuing Home-School Co-operation Research Report indicated that school–home

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communication in local schools was minimal (Pang, 2000, as cited in Fan & Chen, 2001) and often flowed only in one direction (Hall & Moats, 1999). These stakeholders in the school system agreed that parent involvement should be enhanced in the form of school– home communication rather than school management, as proposed by the U.S. Education Department. Consequently, the Education Department adopted Pang’s seven-level model of home-school cooperation, of which home-school communication was treated as the foundation level. The enhancement of communication was also regarded as the major objective in organizing parent–teacher associations (PTAs), the number of which has increased markedly from 133 to 480 in England (Pang, 2000, as cited in Ingels et al., 1990). Three researchers collaborated on this research study—George Edwards, Linetta Carter, and Cynthia Warren. All researchers contributed equally to answering the research questions and hypothesis. However, George Edwards focused on the secondary level results and discussion, Linetta Carter focused on the middle school level, and Cynthia Warren focused on the elementary school level. All researchers included all results and discussion but with greater focus on their specific area. Research Questions The primary research question for this study was, Does at-home parental involvement in reading activities increase student classroom reading scores? There were three secondary questions. 1. Does the lack of at-home parental involvement in reading activities decrease classroom reading scores?

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2. Do students who perceive their parents to be involved achieve higher reading scores? 3. Do students who perceive their parents to be uninvolved in their reading score lower? Parents are an essential part of the equation that leads to student success. According to Johnson (2001), there are many influences on student success other than those for which the public school system can be held accountable; those other influences have a greater impact on student achievement than the public school system. Family time far outweighs the impact of school on the development and success of the child (Johnson). The potential exists for parents to have more input in the educational arena, especially in urban and rural areas where schools suffer due to a lack of funding or a lack of quality educators (Henderson, 2002). Most public schools in America are designed to service children on knowledge benchmarks based on age. Unfortunately, not all children learn at the same rate, and each has unique developmental milestones. Students with disabilities have various educational platforms available to them because of their learning deficiency and skill levels. Due to the fiscal restraints most districts are facing, it is not a feasible practice to afford individual lesson plans for every child. Hypotheses The hypotheses of the study are stated below: Null hypothesis. There will not be a significant positive relationship between at- home reading activities and classroom reading scores.

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Alternate hypothesis. There will be a significant positive relationship between at- home reading activities and classroom reading scores. Rationale There is a growing body of empirical research related to parent involvement that is linked to the theories discussed in the preceding paragraphs. Most school-effectiveness studies focus on the relationship between school-level factors and student achievement rather than on the relationship between school-level factors and parent involvement. Studies of school-level influences on parent involvement report a variety of factors that are best grouped under three headings: staff characteristics, student characteristics, and school characteristics. Beginning with the teaching staff, characteristics such as age, experience, racial composition, and disposition toward parents may affect teachers’ ability to work with parents as well as their interest in doing so. For example, according to Kerbow and Bernhardt (2002), schools with large percentages of African American teachers have higher levels of parent involvement than do similarly situated schools with primarily Caucasian teachers. Even though Kerbow and Bernhardt did not study staff characteristics beyond racial composition, research into factors such as teacher job satisfaction and teacher efficacy suggests that staffs may differ in their ability to engage parents in school activities (Lortie, 2005; Purkey & Smith, 2006). With regard to student characteristics, factors such as average SES and minority composition seem to play a crucial role in determining the level of parent involvement (Kerbow & Bernhardt, 2002). Using hierarchical linear modeling, Kerbow and Bernhardt and Sui-Chu and Willms (2001) demonstrated that the higher a school’s average SES, the

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more likely it is for parents to contact the school for academic reasons, to volunteer, and to attend PTO meetings. In addition, Kerbow and Bernhardt found that the minority composition of the student body is important in determining the level of parent participation. In their research, schools with large minority populations had higher levels of parent involvement in the area of academics and PTOs than did schools with similar socioeconomic profiles (Purkey & Smith, 2006). Finally, Shouse (2001) found that issues associated with the school, including the nature of the setting (rural, suburban, or urban); size; academic focus; climate; and sense of community may influence levels of parent participation. Although those factors merit further investigation, few studies have been conducted in that area. Several researchers, however, have begun to define and measure the constructs. Shouse, for example, used National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 data to explore school academic orientation (or academic press) and school communality in student achievement. Limitations There are several limitations of this research. First, the research data used in the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 study addressed support beyond the high school level, inclusive of post-secondary institutions and the workforce, whereas this study concluded within the secondary academic level. Second, conceptual work suggests the importance of parent/family and school process variables in understanding various types of parent involvement in schooling. Available items in National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 student surveys measure these indirectly. The third limitation of this study is limited to student reports of their parent’s involvement. Previous research suggests that parent and student reports of school involvement are

Full document contains 196 pages
Abstract: This dissertation was written collaboratively by Cynthia Warren, Linetta Carter, and George Edwards with the exception of chapter 4 which is the individual effort of the aforementioned researchers. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of at-home reading activities and parental involvement on classroom reading scores with the focus on the middle school level. A total of 150 students from two inner city schools and one suburban school were chosen for the multi-method research. Students' reading scores were evaluated and their parents were interviewed. A collaborative study involving three investigators was conducted to determine if there was a relationship between at-home reading activities and student success on academic achievement on the elementary, middle, and high school levels. This study may help educators and administrators understand the vital importance of developing early and continual reading experiences at home. Identifying the effect that consistent parental involvement has on reading proficiency may also assist school districts with bilingual populations in the development of a variety of programs that would involve parents in reading and language arts in the schools. There is an increasing level of accountability in the area of reading. The No Child Left Behind ACT of 2001 (NCLB) mandated that school districts achieve an average yearly progress in reading for students 3rd through 8th grade and 11th grade. With that as the primary focus for student achievement, there needs to be a paradigm shift that is inclusive of many facets of parental involvement. Results that emerged were (a) parents' educational level does not adversely interfere with students' reading performance; (b) parents' support was very important in the child's literacy development; (c) school and home cooperative support impacted classroom reading tests scores; (d) reading to the child at home, regardless the language used, had a measurable impact on the student's literacy; and (e) children who received parental support at home progressed significantly. The key finding was parental involvement, no matter how great or small, had a positive impact on student success.