Examining Barriers to Equity: School Policies and Practices Prohibiting Interaction of Families and Schools

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This paper describes a qualitative study that investigated the experiences of Black and Latino family members whose children attended schools identified as failing and were, resultantly, in school turnaround. Guiding theories of this research include postcolonial theory and critical social theory, which were applied to guide data collection and analysis. This study found that the interaction of families and school was constrained by a context of barriers restricting family members’ access to space and information; these barriers were historical and institutional in nature. The barriers that family members faced were enforced and sustained by school policies and practices to involve families; as schools enacted practices to involve families, they also restricted family members’ access to school space and information. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications of this research for policy and recommendations for further research.