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IES Grant

Title: A Partnership to Develop a Meaningful, Reliable, and Valid Measure of Parent Engagement in Early Childhood Education
Center: NCER Year: 2017
Principal Investigator: Gross, Deborah Awardee: Johns Hopkins University
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (07/01/2017 - 06/30/2019) Award Amount: $397,761
Goal: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H170027
Description:

Co-Principal Investigators: Amie Bettencourt (Johns Hopkins University); Demetria Singleton (Baltimore County Public Schools)

Partner Institutions: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore City Public Schools and the Baltimore Education Research Consortium

Purpose: Parent engagement in children's early education is important for children's early school success and long-term academic achievement. Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS), a large urban district serving a high percentage of disadvantaged students, has identified parent engagement as one of its three pillars of excellence and has invested its limited resources in an office dedicated to promoting parent engagement. Despite investments to promote parent engagement, there is lack of agreement about what constitutes meaningful parent engagement, absence of a valid and reliable measure of parent engagement in early childhood, and lack of a cost-effective strategy for collecting parent engagement data. BCPS staff and researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Education Research Consortium will build on an existing partnership to strengthen parenting skills and improve children's school readiness skills by identifying indicators of parent engagement that are associated with children's school achievement. The partners will work together to define parent engagement, develop a measure of parent engagement and collect pilot data to examine the psychometric properties of the measure.

Partnership Activities: Partnership activities will include regular meetings of the core team members and the advisory board to establish and maintain the partnership. The partners will administer a survey to core team members at regular intervals during the partnership to examine the progress of the partnership and its success in achieving project goals. Research activities will focus on developing and pilot testing a measure of parent engagement with parents of children enrolled in BCPS elementary schools. The researchers will conduct interviews with BCPS stakeholders (parents and school personnel) to identify indicators of parent engagement, use qualitative data to inform the development of items for the parent engagement questionnaire, and conduct a pilot test to evaluate the psychometric properties of the newly developed measure.

Setting: This project will take place in Baltimore County Public elementary schools and the communities surrounding the schools.

Population/Sample: This project will focus on parents of children attending BCPS elementary schools, early childhood educators, kindergarten teachers, and other BCPS school staff. The sample will include 75 stakeholders, including parents of preschool-aged children and district personnel, 300 parents of kindergarteners, and 20 kindergarten teachers.

Initial Research: In year 1, the partners will launch the partnership and establish processes and procedures for building the partnership. To achieve consensus on a meaningful definition of parent engagement in early childhood, the partners will conduct interviews with BCPS stakeholders and consult with advisory board members. In year 2, the partners will develop the parent engagement items and conduct a pilot test to evaluate the psychometric properties of the measure. The partners will also develop a plan for disseminating information related to partnership activities and products and outline plans for additional measurement development work to refine, finalize, and validate the measure for use with parents of children enrolled in BCPS elementary schools.

Outcomes: The partnership will result in the development of a parent engagement measure that will be used by BCPS staff to collect data from parents of children enrolled in BCPS. School district staff will use parent engagement data to assess the quality and extent of parent engagement in BCPS, examine improvements in parent engagement in response to district initiatives, and set goals for indicators of parent engagement that are associated with student outcomes. The partners will disseminate findings at practitioner meetings and national conferences, and publications in peer-reviewed practitioner and researcher journals.


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