Is this what educators really want? Transforming the discourse on Black fathers and their participation in schools

Rema Ella Reynolds, Tyrone C. Howard, Tomashu Kenyatta Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Parent involvement within schools has garnered attention since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandated that parent participation be a condition for federal funding. This particular caveat has been significant because issues of race and class come to the forefront when examining schools that receive federal funding. A close examination of parent involvement becomes increasingly salient, in particular for students of color who are more likely than their White peers to attend schools receiving federal funding. In this qualitative study of 16 participants, we seek to narrow the focus of parents, and pay particular attention to Black fathers. The role of Black fathers has been largely absent from the educational discourse on parent involvement at both the local and federal levels, and within the literature, the roles, practices, and strategies of involvement for Black fathers has been scant compared to their White peers. This absence from the literature is noteworthy given the important role that involvement plays in educational success coupled with Black students’ perennial underperformance in US schools. The purpose of this work is to highlight findings from a study that examined the voices, perspectives, and involvement practices that Black fathers used to build relationships with school personnel in an effort to advocate on behalf of their sons and daughters and improve their overall schooling experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-107
Number of pages19
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • Black parents
  • Critical Race Theory
  • No Child Left Behind
  • fathers
  • parent involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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