The National Household Education Survey found the following for 3-5 year olds not yet enrolled in kindergarten in 1999:

  • 61% whose mother's highest education was less than high school were read to three or more times in the past week by a family member, compared with
  • 76% whose mother had a high school diploma or equivalent,
  • 85% whose mother had completed vocational education or some college,
  • 91% whose mother had a college degree, and
  • 93% whose mother had a graduate/professional degree or training.
  • 36% visited a library at least once in the last month with a family member,
  • 39% did arts and crafts three or more times in the past week with a family member,
  • 64% were taught letters, words, or numbers three or more times in the past week by a family member,
  • 81% were read to three or more times in the past week by a family member,
  • 50% were told a story three or more times in the past week by a family member, and
  • 49% were taught songs and music three or more times in the past week by a family member.

The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found the following for kindergarteners in the fall of 1998:

  • 46% of parents read to their children every day.
  • 62% of parents with a high socioeconomic status read to their children every day, compared to
  • 36% of parents with a low socioeconomic status.

The 1997 National Survey of America's Families found the following children were read to or told stories fewer than 3 days a week:

  • 24% of children living below 200% of the poverty level, compared to 10% of children living above 200% of the poverty level, and
  • 24% of children in one-parent families, compared to 15% of children living in two-parent families.

The National Household Education Survey found the following for parents with children in grades K-12 in 1999:

  • 92.0% reported attending a general meeting, a scheduled meeting with a teacher, a school event, acting as a volunteer, or serving on a committee,
  • 79.0% reported attending a general meeting in their child's school,
  • 73.0% reported attending a scheduled meeting with a teacher; and
  • 66.2% reported attending a school event.

Parents who reported acting as a volunteer or serving on a committee in 1999:

  • 13.5% had less than a high school education,
  • 26.7% had a high school diploma/GED,
  • 38.1% had some college/vocational/technical education,
  • 50.4% had a bachelor's degree, and
  • 54.6% had a graduate/professional school education.

Percentage of parents who reported attending a school event in 1999:

  • 39.2% had less than a high school education,
  • 59.0% had a high school diploma/GED,
  • 67.2% had some college/vocational/technical education,
  • 76.2% had a bachelor's degree, and
  • 79.0% had a graduate/professional school education.

Percentage of parents who reported attending a scheduled meeting with a teacher in 1999:

  • 61.6% had less than a high school education,
  • 69.6% had a high school diploma/GED,
  • 74.4% had some college/vocational/technical education,
  • 79.1% had a bachelor's degree, and
  • 75.3% had a graduate/professional school education.

Outcomes of Parent Involvement

The National Household Education Survey found the following for 3-5 year olds not yet enrolled in kindergarten in 1999:

Of the children who were read to fewer than 3 times in the past week by a family member:

  • 24% had 3-4 of the following skills: recognizes all letters, counts to 20 or higher, writes name, and reads or pretends to read storybooks, compared to 42% who were read to more than 3 times in the past week,
  • 57% could read or pretend to read storybooks, compared to 77% of 3-5 year olds who were read to more than 3 times in the past week, and
  • 14% recognize all the letters, compared to 26% who were read to more than 3 times in the past week.

Of the children who were told a story fewer than 3 times in the past week by a family member:

  • 34% had 3-4 of the following skills: recognizes all letters, counts to 20 or higher, writes name, and reads or pretends to read storybooks, compared to 44% who were told a story more than 3 times in the past week,
  • 20% could recognize all the letters, compared to 28% who were told a story more than 3 times in the past week, and
  • 68% could read or pretend to read storybooks, compared to 79% who were told a story more than 3 times in the past week.

Of the children who were taught letters, words, and numbers by a family member fewer than 3 times in the past week:

  • 31% had 3-4 of the following skills: recognizes all letters, counts to 20 or higher, writes name, and reads or pretends to read storybooks, compared to 43% who were taught letters, words, and numbers more than 3 times in the past week,
  • 69% could read or pretend to read storybooks, compared to 76% of 3-5 year olds who were taught letters, words, and numbers more than 3 times in the past week, and
  • 17% could recognize all the letters, compared to 27% who were taught letters, words, and numbers more than 3 times in the past week.

The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that of the children who were read to at least three times a week as they entered kindergarten:

  • 76% had mastered the letter-sound relationship at the beginning of words, compared to 64% of children who were read to fewer than 3 times a week,
  • 57% had mastered the letter-sound relationship at the end of words, compared to 43% who were read to fewer than 3 times a week,
  • 15% had sight-word recognition skills, compared to 8% who were read to fewer than 3 times a week, and
  • 5% could understand words in context, compared to 2% who were read to fewer than 3 times a week.
  • It also found that in spring 2000, the children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading than children who were read to less than 3 times a week. 

The NAEP 2000 national reading assessment of fourth-grade students found the following:

  • Higher than average scores among students who reported more types of reading material at home. The 68% of students who had three or more different types of reading materials at home performed at the Proficient level, while students who had two or fewer types of reading material at home performed at the Basic level. Students who had 4 types of reading material at home performed the highest.
  • Students who discussed their studies at home, however frequently, had higher average reading scores than students who reported never discussing their studies at home. The 83% of students who discussed their studies once a month or more at home performed at the Proficient level, compared to students who never or hardly ever discussed their studies at home and performed at the Basic level.
  • Students who talked about reading with family and friends, however frequently, had higher average scores than students who never or hardly ever talked about reading. Students who talked about reading once or twice a week performed the highest.

The Longitudinal Evaluation of School Change and Performance in Title I Schools found that when third grade teachers were especially active in outreach to low achievers' parents, students made faster gains in reading over the next 2 years, gaining 4.6 points more than students whose teachers made only an average amount of outreach. 

Schools and Parental Involvement

In the 1997 National Portrait Study on the schooling experiences of children:

  • 89% of parents said that their child's school treated them as important partners in their child's education,
  • 77% felt that teachers need to learn more about encouraging involvement, and
  • 38% of parents had never been asked how their school might help them become more involved at school.
  • 3 in 10 parents reported that schools required parents to sign all homework,
  • 5 in 10 reported that schools offered a summer reading list,
  • 3 in 10 reported that schools sponsored in-class learning agreements, and
  • 3 in 10 reported that schools sponsored at-home learning agreements.
  • 2 in 10 reported that schools assigned monthly (or less than monthly) parent/child homework,
  • 4 in 10 reported weekly parent/child homework assignments, and
  • 1 in 10 reported never receiving parent/child homework assignments.

A study that examined the level of agreement between the Survey on Family and School Partnerships in Public Schools, K-8, and the Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program found the following in 1996:

  • 81.5% of public K-8 schools reported that they provided information to parents about child or adolescent development, and
  • 72.9% of parents reported that their child's school helped them understand what children at their child's age are like.
  • 99.0% of public K-8 schools reported that they made volunteer opportunities in schools available to parents, and
  • 89.7% of parents reported that schools made them aware of chances to volunteer at their child's school.
  • 89.0% of public K-8 schools reported that they provided information to parents about helping children with homework, and
  • 75.7% of parents reported that they received this information.
  • 97.6% of public K-8 schools reported that they included parents in making decisions on various school issues, and
  • 74.8% of parents reported that schools included them on committees that make decisions about school policies.
  • 88.0% of public K-8 schools reported that they provided information to parents about community services to help children and families, and
  • 72.2% of parents reported that they received this information.

A survey on family and school partnerships done in 1996, found for public schools (K-8):

  • 35% had a parent resource center,
  • 12% were developing one, and
  • 53% did not have one.
  • 14% of parent resource centers were used by parents very frequently,
  • 46% were used somewhat frequently,
  • 37% were used infrequently or not at all, and
  • 3% did not know.

Public elementary schools considered the following issues to be barriers to a great or moderate extent to parent involvement in their school:

Parent-centered barriers

  • 87% perceived a lack of time on the part of parents,
  • 38% stated a lack of parent education to help with schoolwork,
  • 23% stated cultural or socioeconomic differences between parents and staff,
  • 23% stated parent attitudes about the school, and
  • 12% stated language difference between parents and staff.

Staff/school-centered barriers

  • 56% perceived a lack of time on the part of staff as a barrier to a great or moderate extent to parent involvement in their school,
  • 48% stated a lack of staff training in working with parents,
  • 18% stated staff attitudes about the parents, and
  • 9% stated concerns about safety in the area after school hours.