Immigrants and Schools: Contextual Factors in Parents' School and Community Involvement

Other External Scholars:
Katharine M. Donato, Vanderbilt University
Audrey Singer, Brookings Institution
Project Date:
Nov 2005
Award Amount:
Project Programs:

Supplemental Award: $28,000, November 2007

Schools serve as a frontline for introducing young immigrant children and their parents to this country. Every day, approximately 1000 immigrant newcomers enter U.S. schools. Although considerable research has looked into how well immigrant students fare in the U.S. education system, less attention has focused on immigrant parents’ involvement in schools. With support from the Foundation, Katharine M. Donato, Melissa Marschall, and Audrey Singer will conduct a survey on Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Chicago, and Dominicans and Puerto Ricans in New York to investigate whether and how immigrants engage with schools, and how this relates to participation in other community institutions. They will examine what conditions lead immigrant parents to get involved in schools, as well as differences between immigrant groups. Particular emphasis will be placed on the effectiveness of public programs designed to foster parental participation in schools, and how such programs facilitate a larger socio-political incorporation into U.S. society. They will supplement the survey with in-depth interviews of school administrators and site visits to schools.


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