A study that found that other factors were more influential than parental involvement has ignited a debate among parents and educators. That debate led study project director Trish Williams of EdSource and the rest of the research team for "Similar Students, Different Results: Why Do Some Schools Do Better?" to issue a separate statement on parental involvement. Here are portions of the statement; the study is at www.edsource.org.

"The study did not find that parent involvement is not important or not related to student achievement. Rather, within the sample of California elementary schools surveyed, the relationship between student achievement and what the school does to encourage parent involvement is not as pronounced as the relationship between higher student achievement and these other four practices: a coherent curriculum aligned with state standards, availability of instructional resources, prioritizing student achievement, and use of student assessment data to improve instruction and learning."

"The surveys of principals and teachers involved 29 questions about a cluster of practices for involving and supporting parents. These questions did not ask about numbers of parents involved or their hours given. Rather, they asked what activities the school conducted, and how often, to engage and involve parents."

"For the elementary schools serving low-income families in our sample, practices designed to involve the parents in their children's education were more positively correlated with higher school performance than were other efforts to involve parents. Examples of such practices that correlated positively with school performance were the frequency of special subject area (like math or English language arts) events held at a school and the frequency with which parents provide instructional support in classrooms."