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2016 PDK Opinion Poll on the Nation’s Public Schools Underscores Need for Improved Family Engagement

Media Contact:
Heidi May Wilson
Media Relations Manager
703-518-1242
hmay@pta.org

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Aug. 31, 2016)—Yesterday, Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) released the results from the 2016 Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Among the topics covered, the need to improve family engagement in education and strengthen family-school partnerships is demonstrated by the findings of the survey.

In the poll, Americans and parents were asked their satisfaction with school efforts to keep them informed and give them opportunities to offer their opinions and input.

  • 55% of parents responded that they would like to be kept more informed about how their child is doing in school.
  • 51% of parents indicated they would like to be invited to visit their child’s school more often to see what is going on.
  • 56% of parents replied that they would like to be given more opportunities to offer their opinions and provide input on how things are done in their child’s school.

The poll also showed a strong relationship between family engagement and school satisfaction. Parents who rated their schools positively on keeping them informed, offering them opportunities to provide input and showing interest in their input gave their schools an A or B grade overall.

“One of National PTA’s founding principles—and continued top priority—is its dedication to ensuring families are engaged in education, families and schools work together, and families have a seat at the table when decisions are made that impact their children and schools,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “The PDK poll underscores the importance of prioritizing family engagement and family-school partnerships, which are proven to advance children’s learning and growth, increase student achievement and positively impact school improvement efforts.”

The findings from the poll come as states and school districts are working to create new education plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—the new federal law governing K-12 education. ESSA provides an important opportunity for states, districts and schools to improve family engagement and strength family-school partnerships as it requires that parents are meaningfully consulted in the development and implementation of the new education plans.

“Families play an important role in the successful implementation of ESSA and ensuring that all children receive a quality education by providing their input and holding states and districts accountable,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA remains committed to working with families, educators, administrators, policymakers and other stakeholders to make certain family engagement is prioritized in ESSA and beyond. Systematic and sustained efforts to integrate families into the fabric of our schools is key to their success and our children and our nation’s future.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.