Family Engagement in Credentialing Programs

Adopted February 2012 – Family Engagement Commission

The California State PTA recognizes there is a direct correlation between family engagement and student achievement. Research and studies over the past 20 years have definitively shown that when administrators and teachers engage parents in the educational process, significant growth occurs in student learning.

The California State PTA therefore believes that partnerships between parents, professional educators, and community will significantly impact closing the achievement gap; reducing retention rates; decreasing dropout and truancy rates; increasing graduation rates; and improving the health of students and their families. For all students to achieve their potential, regardless of their cultural background, socioeconomic status, or learning challenges, requires a partnership between families, communities, and professional educators.

California was the first state to enact legislation (AB 1264 Martinez, Chapter 767, Statutes of 1993) calling for prospective teachers and certified educators to “serve as partners and guardians in the education of children.” To formally prepare teachers and administrators to increase family engagement in education, the PTA believes that credentialing programs for educators must include family engagement components.

The California State PTA therefore supports the following steps necessary to change administrator and teacher credentialing requirements:

  • Reviewing California Education Code 11500-11506 on parent involvement.
  • Changing California laws and policies to require teacher and administrative credentialing programs to have family engagement components.
  • Convening a task force of parents, school board members, teachers, K-12 school administrators, administrators from educator preparation programs at institutions of higher education, representatives from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and other experts to pursue legislation that includes accountability and funding for both family engagement courses in programs for new teachers and administrators, as well as professional development in family engagement for administrators and teachers who are already credentialed.
  • Working collaboratively with institutions of higher education to identify and integrate research-based standards and strategies for family engagement into teacher and administrator preparation courses, text books, and student teaching experiences.
  • Ensuring that family engagement standards include strategies that effectively engage families from diverse backgrounds and school communities.
  • Ensuring that classes on family engagement become a requirement for obtaining both the California teaching and administrative credentials.
  • Increasing the number of both pre-service and in-service educational opportunities for teachers and administrators to learn how to effectively engage parents of all backgrounds as partners in the education of their children.
  • Implementing both accountability measures and incentives for implementing strategies to increase levels of family engagement at all public schools including charter schools and schools receiving Title 1 funding.
  • Introducing federal legislation that supports family engagement training for all prospective teachers and administrators, as well as professional development in family engagement for all current teachers and administrators in all states.
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