IDRA is concerned with the education of all children, with special emphasis on economically disadvantaged, of color, recent immigrant and English learners. The research literature often is disappointing because so much is based on deficit concepts of children and their families. For many decades IDRA’s research, including, Hispanic Families as Valued Partners – An Educator’s Guide (1993) provides background information about minority families and recommends ways of involving them in their children’s schools. This publication describes a process for assessing a school’s current parent involvement program and then redesigning it to increase the involvement of Hispanic families. The recommendations draw on this research and on the work IDRA has done in the areas of home-school partnerships, family literacy, adult education outreach, electronic networks for adult learners, and parent empowerment. Over the years, our research and practice have led us to IDRA’s model of Family Leadership in Education, which was synthesized in the U.S. Department of Education’s publication, Engaging Parents in Education – Lessons from Five Parental Information and Resource Centers (2007). And this model and its best practices are now a part of IDRA’s PTA Comunitario approach, currently funded as part of USDA’s Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) project. More information on IDRA’s PTA Comunitario work and our model of Family Leadership in Education is available online, as are more examples and resources from IDRA’s research work.
[©2014, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the April 2014 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Every effort has been made to maintain the content in its original form. However, accompanying charts and graphs may not be provided here. To receive a copy of the original article by mail or fax, please fill out our information request and feedback form. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]