Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jennifer A. Keeley


Decades of research have noted the importance of parent involvement in students' academic success. Less is known about parent engagement models that aim to increase Latino students' reading achievement. This project study examined the effectiveness of a 2-year parent engagement program implemented to address poor reading achievement of Latino elementary school students in a small urban district. The purpose of this study was to determine disparities in student scores between those parents who participated in the program and those parents who did not participate. The research questions examined parent engagement levels in comparison to increased summative reading scores. Based on 3 foundational theories: cultural capital, deprivation, and social reproduction theories, concerted cultivation and accomplishment of natural growth theories, and funds of knowledge theory, this causal-comparative study used preexisting test score data to analyze the differences between pretest and posttest reading scores. The findings from the dependent- and independent-samples t tests suggested that there was limited evidence to support the claim that Latino 3rd grade students whose parents participated in the parent engagement framework showed a statistically significant greater gain in reading proficiency levels than Latino 3rd grade students whose parents did not participate. The conclusions of this study can be used to inform leadership and teacher professional learning initiatives for low-performing districts planning to implement parent engagement programs intended to raise Latino elementary student reading achievement. Results from this study may positively impact social change by providing culturally relevant parent engagement strategies and thus contributes to the overall reading attainment of districts' Latino students.