In September 2012, The Heinz Endowments asked the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University to conduct a research scan of family engagement, leadership, and organizing work related to education happening in Pittsburgh, as a part of the Endowments' larger work in supporting families as important stakeholders in their children's education.
Annenberg's goal was to produce a well-researched scan and analysis of the family engagement and organizing for school reform landscape in Pittsburgh and to provide recommendations for viable funding strategies to support family engagement and organizing capacity building.
Research questions for the scan included:
1. Given the overall context of school reform efforts in Pittsburgh, what are the opportunities and challenges for influence from community-based parent leadership and organizing?
2. What community-based organizations with a current or potential focus on equitable education reform exist in Pittsburgh?
3. What is the capacity of each organization to engage in parent/family leadership and organizing work to influence school reform?
All of the work completed for this report was done from September 2012 through April 2013. More specifically, data was collected from November 2012 through February 2013. Thus, new developments and changes related to what is reported here that have occurred since the spring of 2013 are not reflected in our data, findings, analysis, or recommendations.
What follows is an overview of the methodology and conceptual framework driving the design and analysis of our scan research, a detailed summary of what we learned about the landscape for family engagement and leadership in Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), a scan of current community-based organizations' (CBOs) work and capacity for supporting family engagement and leadership, and recommendations of potential strategies for cultivating family engagement and education organizing in Pittsburgh.