Term of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Catherine Wooddy

Committee Member 2

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 3

Dorothy Battle

Abstract

The current parent involvement practices in Georgia Title I schools as reported by Title I district-level school administrators are described in this quantitative study. Data gathered describe strategies, means of communication, barriers, personnel, and staff development impacting parent involvement. The researcher found that, although districts employ a variety of research-based strategies to engage parents, only half of the surveyed strategies had been used with any degree of frequency. This is possibly attributable to the finding that almost two-thirds of the participants had five or fewer years Title I administration experience and that many districts had not provided teacher compensation or release time for parent workshops. The most successful strategies identified were workshops with a meal, an activity or PTA, childcare, and door prizes/incentives. Another frequently reported strategy was parent resources centers that provided material checkouts. Summer and saturday workshops were seldom utilized. School newsletters/fliers, parent teacher conferences, and open houses were the most successfully utilized communication methods. The least used method was home visits. District administrators identified parent time, parent attitudes, and lack of transportation as the most frequently reported barriers. Yet half of the respondents had never been provided transportation to lessen the barrier. The researcher found that almost three-fourths of the districts do not employ any district parent coordinators and slightly less than one-third provided school part-time certified or full-time non-certified parent coordinators. Over half of the districts utilized parent coordinators to coordinate/teach parent involvement activities/workshops, to communicate with parents, and to conduct home visits. Almost 70% of the district administrators provided parent involvement training for their site administrators and teachers which was usually delivered by district personnel or through state conferences. Although a majority of Title I administrators felt parent involvement training was very important, only approximately 50% of them received parent training. Most respondents reported that their training had been received through state conferences/workshops, Title I conferences, and Georgia Compensatory Educational Leaders conferences. Parent involvement, a responsibility of Title I administrators, must begin at the district level; however, this may not be possible since many administrators have had no parent involvement training.

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