Teacher-child racial/ethnic match and parental engagement with Head Start
Parental engagement is central to Head Start's two-generation mission. Drawing on research linking teacher-child racial/ethnic match to educational outcomes, the present study explores whether teacher-child match increases parental involvement in Head Start activities designed to support children and families. Using data from the 2006 and 2009 waves of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Sumey, we estimate the relationship between teacher-child racial/ethnic match and parental involvement both across and within Head Start centers. Findings suggest that match enhances parental engagement and decreases student absences, particularly among Hispanic families, suggesting that family engagement may be one potential mechanism by which racial/ethnic match improves educational outcomes. Findings also have implications for policies that reduce the diversity of the Head Start workforce. (author abstract)
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