What Would My Mother Say? An Inquiry on Parent Engagement Policy and Practice
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This study was a comparative policy analysis of three state policies (Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas) related to parent, family, and community engagement. The study involved an analysis of current literature, conventional practices, and social views of parent, family, and community engagement. The personal story of the researcher was embedded in the study to introduce the topic, inform the analysis, and make meaning of the recommendations. Two analytical lenses were applied to compare the policies of the three states. Scheurich’s policy archaeology emerges from a poststructionalist theoretical lens to analyze the social construction of policy that fundamentally examines how the issue of parent, family, and community engagement evolved in each state. Policy archaeology challenges the conventional postpositivist policy analysis, which results in symbolic changes rather than fundamental reforms to policy and practice. The second analytical lens derives from Elazar’s three political cultures, which examine the social and political views that influence policy. The application of both analytical lenses exposed the outside influences that affected the way parent, family, and community engagement is addressed in policy, negotiated socially, and practiced. Inductive analysis were utilized to review archival documents from the state legislatures in combination with other social mediums such as newspaper articles, journals, political documents, and social media to provide a wider perspective to the implications surrounding the creation of such laws. The community learning exchange framework informed the recommendations of this study that emerged from a genuine approach of engagement with all members of the community.