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Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)

Family-School Engagement of Families


Who are Speakers of Other Languages
The Parent and Family Involvement Survey (PFI) 1 is part of the National Household Education Surveys
(NHES) Program developed by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of
Education. In 2016, parents or guardians of a total of 13,523 students enrolled in public or private K-12
schools completed the PFI. One of the family characteristics the PFI identifies is parents’ languages. This
Fast Facts sheet focuses on responses from parents 2 in three language categories: households where neither
parent speaks English, households where both parents speak English, households where one of two parents
speaks English and the other speaks another language. 3

Percentage of K-12 Students Whose Parents Participated in School-Sponsored Activities


by Language Category: SY 2015–16
100%
English-only speaking parents
82% One of two parents/guardians speaks English
79%
80%
74% 71% No parents speak English
68%
62% 64%
60% 57%
49%
46% 46% 47%

40% 38%
33% 34% 33%
30%
25%

20%

0%
Attended a PTO or Attended regularly Attended a school or Volunteered or served Participated Met with a guidance
PTA meeting scheduled parent- class event on school committee in school fundraising counselor
teacher conference
Participation in school activities by parent or other household member

FACT
Compared to English-speaking parents and households where one of two parents speaks English, the parents
who are speakers of other languages had lower rates of volunteering (46 percent and 38 percent vs. 25 percent,
respectively) and fundraising for the school (64 percent and 47 percent vs. 33 percent).

NOTE: The PFI was available in English and Spanish.


SOURCE: McQuiggan, M. & Megra, M. (2017). Parent and Family Involvement in Education: Results from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2016
(NCES 2017-102). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved [October 10, 2019] from
https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017102.pdf

1
The NHES uses a nationally representative, address-based sample covering the United States and the District of Columbia. The results from respondents are weighted to
represent the population of 53.2 million K-12 students enrolled in public or private school.
2
“Parents” as used throughout this Fast Facts document includes guardians.
3
Complete descriptions of the categories for English spoken at home by parents/guardians are as follows: (1) Both parents/guardians or the only parent/guardian learned
English first or currently speak(s) English in the home, (2) One of two parents/guardians in a two-parent/guardian household learned English first or currently speaks
English in the home, and (3) No parent/guardian learned English first and both parents/guardians or the only parent/guardian currently speak(s) a non-English language in
the home.

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OELA
Percentage of K-12 Students Whose Parents Reported Their Level of
FACT
Satisfaction with the School Staff by Language Category: SY 2015–16
Compared to English-
54% speaking parents, fewer
Very satisfied 61%
54% parents who spoke other
languages reported being
38% “very dissatisfied” with the
Somewhat satisfied 29%
34% way that school staff
interacted with parents (one
6%
Somewhat dissatisfied 7% percent vs. three percent).
9%
They reported being “very
1% No parents speak English satisfied” at about the same
Very dissatisfied 3% One of two parents/guardians speaks English
3% English-only speaking parents rate as English-speaking
parents (54 percent).
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%
SOURCE: McQuiggan, M. & Megra, M. (2017). Parent and Family Involvement in Education: Results from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2016
(NCES 2017-102). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved [October 10, 2019] from
https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017102.pdf

Percentage of K–12 Students Whose Parents Had a Place Set Aside at Home for Homework and
For Whom an Adult Checked Homework by Language Category: SY 2006–07 and SY 2015–16 4

FACT SY 2006-07 SY 2015-16


In SY 2006-07, more parents 100% 94% 100%
90% 88%
84% 86%86%
who are speakers of other 80% 82%
languages (94 percent) than 80% 76% 80% 70%
English-speaking parents and 66% 65%
households where one of two 60%
60%
parents speaks English (84
percent and 88 percent,
respectively) said they always 40% 40%
check that homework is done.
In the SY 2015–16 survey, 20% 20%
parents who are speakers of
other languages reported
0% 0%
similarly to English-speaking Place for homework Adult checks Place for homework Adult checks
parents and households where set aside at home homework is set aside at home homework is
one of two parents speaks completed completed
English on this item, though
English-only speaking parents English-only speaking parents
the likelihood that any parents
checked homework fell by at One of two parents/guardians speaks English One of two parents/guardians speaks English
least 18 percentage points. No parents speak English No parents speak English

NOTE: The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) administration in 2007 was administered via telephone with an interviewer. In 2016, self-administered
paper-and-pencil questionnaires were mailed to respondents. Differences between estimates for 2007 and 2016 could reflect changes in the population such as changes in
homework practices, changes due to the mode change from telephone to mail, or other sources of error.
SOURCES: Data for SY 2006-07: Herrold, K. & O’Donnell, K. (2008). Parent and family involvement in education, 2006–07 school year, from the National Household
Education Surveys Program of 2007 (NCES 2008-050) [Table 5]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2008/2008050.pdf Data for SY 2015-16: McQuiggan, M. & Megra, M. (2017). Parent and Family Involvement in Education: Results from the National
Household Education Surveys Program of 2016 (NCES 2017-102) [Table 4]. U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics,
Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved on July 8, 2019 from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2017102

4
Results are reported for respondents who answered that their child does homework outside of school at least once per week. Between 94 to 96 percent of parents reported
that their child does homework outside of school across language categories and school years.

LEADERSHIP
Jose A. Viana Supreet Anand
Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director Deputy Director
Office of English Language Acquisition Office of English Language Acquisition
400 MARYLAND AVE., SW • WASHINGTON, DC 20202 • WWW.ED.GOV