Elementary Principals' Attitudes toward Engaging Families from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds in Schools
The diverse student enrollment in Texas public schools mirrors the changing demographics in American society. The principal is responsible for creating equitable schools for all students and is key in nurturing authentic partnerships with all families. There is evidence that parent engagement correlates with student achievement and narrowing the achievement gap. However, school centered parent involvement may marginalize diverse families. The purpose of this study was to identify and examine the attitudes of elementary school principals toward engaging families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in schools. This quantitative, survey research study was adapted from Brittle's (1994) dissertation, and combined descriptive and correlational research. Due to a scarcity of published instruments, the "The Meza Survey of Culturally Responsive Family Engagement" was developed and validated. Descriptive statistics were calculated to generate an overall view of questionnaire responses and respondent characteristics. Stepwise multiple regression (forward selection) was used to determine if the dependent variables (components of attitude items) could be predicted from the eleven independent variables (principal demographic information). Transformative leadership, social justice leadership, and culturally responsive leadership informed the study. A critical quantitative approach was used to analyze the findings. The findings indicated that principals in this study had mostly positive attitudes toward culturally responsive family engagement; however, there were some significant differences between the principals' gender, ethnicity, age, teaching and principal experience, school Title 1 designation, and those with higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students and English Language Learners.