This story originally appeared in The Oregonian.
Karen Mapp, a Harvard lecturer whose research specialty is partnerships that support better educational outcomes for kids, told guests at the Children's Institute's annual luncheon on Friday that building successful schools means engaging families as equal partners – not as clients, not as supplements to the educational process and not as people who need saving.
"Family and community engagement is an essential ingredient to reform our schools," Mapp, a past deputy superintendent for family and community engagement for Boston Public Schools who now serves as a consultant on family engagement to the U.S. Department of Education, said in her keynote speech at the advocacy group's seventh annual Make It Your Business lunch. "In other words, you can't improve your schools without your families and community. Case closed..."