At Family Engagement Lab, we are committed to supporting and studying schools’ efforts to equitably engage families in their child’s learning. Our commitment extends to combating racism in this area. There is ample evidence that, despite the best intentions of schools and educators, families and children of color experience multiple layers of racism.
A 2019 study by Karin Kitchens found that, at an institutional level, schools enrolling Black students receive less funding, and while their families have a higher tax burden, fewer Black students are afforded the same educational and career opportunities as their White peers.
In the area of teacher to parent communication, sociologist Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng has found that race, ethnicity, and immigration status factor strongly. In his study, teachers were more likely to reach out to parents of Black and Latino students about behavioral problems. And teachers were less likely to reach out to parents they perceived as uninterested and uninvolved.
At Family Engagement Lab, we know all families care about their children. We envision a future where communities of color are treated with compassion, dignity, and respect as individuals. We are committed to a continued investigation of how racism inhibits equitable family engagement and developing anti-racist family engagement strategies. We are currently examining our activities across research, content development, product design, and teacher training. Below is a list of books, online events, articles, and research that are informing our journey:
Co-Founder, Family Engagement Lab