Community Education Circles in the Lawrence Public Schools: evaluation design and baseline survey data

Abstract: This paper describes a plan for evaluating the Community Education Circles (CECs) program that is being implemented in the Lawrence Public Schools as part of an effort to enhance family-school engagement and improve outcomes for both students and parents. The CECs program supports the larger Lawrence Working Families Initiative, which in 2013 was awarded a multiyear grant through the Boston Fed?s Working Cities Challenge. This paper accomplishes several objectives: (1) describe the goals and methods of the CECs program as well as the larger goals of the Lawrence Working Families Initiative; (2) describe the methods that will be used to evaluate the success of the CECs program; (3) describe important features of the survey data and the school administrative data that have been collected so far for the families that are participating in our study. Concerning the last objective, we describe aspects of a family?s structure and employment situation, primary language, demographic information and immigrant status, measures of a family?s financial situation and financial stress, and measures of parents? satisfaction with the schools and of their involvement in their child?s learning. We also identify relationships between such characteristics that may present barriers to the achievement of the goals of the CECs program across a diverse set of families.

Keywords: parental involvement; public schools; program evaluation; survey data; financial stress; Lawrence Working Families Initiative;

JEL Classification: I20; I30; I24; I38;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Part of Series: Current Policy Perspectives

Publication Date: 2017-06-01

Number: 17-1

Pages: 32 pages