Parent involvement may be a focus of the No Child Left Behind Act’s school improvement prescriptions, but it’s the least likely to be implemented, according to a recent report issued by the Rand Corp.’s education division.

The researchers looked at how well comprehensive school reform models were implemented in six core areas: curriculum, instruction, student class groupings, student assessment, administration, and parent involvement. Over three years, they sent annual surveys to principals and teachers at 250 schools in Florida and Texas that had adopted one of four comprehensive school reform programs.

The researchers found that no school instituted the recommendations in all six core areas. But recommendations in some core areas were implemented at a higher rate than in others. Curriculum-related changes were most likely to be instituted, regardless of the reform model used.

In comparison, the recommended practices to increase parent involvement were least likely to be followed. The study did find, however, that parent involvement tended to be higher at schools using a comprehensive reform model than schools that weren’t.

According to Rand, about 8,000 U.S. public schools use comprehensive school reform programs, and more than $2 billion in federal money has been spent on the programs. Comprehensive school reform is one of several options for improving achievement that is accepted under No Child Left Behind.