The involvement of low-income and minority parents in their children's education is an important issue. When parents are actively involved, children tend to perform well academically. If the Mong children in California are to have a greater chance of academic success, school principals need to collaborate with Mong parents.
This study investigated the strategies elementary and middle school principals use to involve Mong parents in the education of their children, obstacles they encounter, and methods they use to evaluate whether their efforts have been effective. This study also examined whether there are any differences between the strategies principals use to involve Mong parents, obstacles they encounter, and methods they employ for evaluation, based on their demographic characteristics.
Data were collected through the administration of a survey. Of the 113 surveys mailed to school principals throughout California, 31.9% were completed and returned. Upon receiving the surveys, frequencies, percentages, one-sample proportion tests, and independent-samples t tests were employed to analyze the data.
The results demonstrated that there were 28 strategies school principals used to involve Mong parents (e.g., 97% encouraged Mong parents to participate in the parent organization(s) at school), eight obstacles they encountered (e.g., 86% encountered the Mong parents' lack of knowledge about the school system as an obstacle to encourage the involvement of Mong parents), and nine methods they employed to evaluate their efforts (e.g., 86% used informal discussions with teachers as a method for evaluation). In addition, some of the differences between the strategies school principals used, obstacles they encountered, and methods they employed based on their demographic characteristics were identified.
It is recommended that other school principals use the strategies and methods found in this study to improve their relationship with Mong parents as educational partners. It is also recommended that school principals employ a variety of methods to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts. To increase the academic achievement of Mong children, future research is needed.