Empowering Families and Communities

Families and communities are deeply invested in students’ success, and they need information to be empowered partners in a child’s education. When all of the adults in their lives are informed—and share a vision for their education journey—students excel.

Getting People the Right Information

All parents should have a robust picture of their children’s successes and challenges, the educational options available to them, and how the school system is performing overall. They should also have a clear understanding of how student data is used and protected. And because data doesn’t always speak for itself, families deserve training and support to understand what they can do to help their children once they have this information.

Communities have a rich set of supports—afterschool programs, college mentors, summer job programs—that bolster student learning and open up new pathways to higher education and the job market. To be effective, these need to be closely coordinated with families and schools. Only by sharing information can schools and communities match students with the additional supports they need, identify high-quality programs, and ensure every student has the resources to thrive.

What Policymakers Can Do

Policymakers at all levels have an important role in ensuring that families and communities have access to high-quality data that answers their most essential questions, plus the skills to use that information effectively. They should also ensure that parents are engaged in conversations about how data is used to make education decisions.

Action Steps

  • See examples of empowering families in action: watch our video about parent data chats in Metro Nashville Public Schools, and read our blog on the Academic Parent Teacher Team Model.
  • Find out what parents can do to help their children when they have accurate, comprehensive student data.
  • Understand what policymakers can do to ensure that publicly reported data is intentionally designed to meet the needs of families and communities, and how parents can advocate for this information.
  • Check out DQC’s Four Policy Priorities for more specific actions policymakers can take to support this topic.