“Community Schools Advocates Push for ‘Whole Child’ Focus in ESEA Update”

Community Schools Advocates Push for ‘Whole Child’ Focus in ESEA Update is a post from Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:

The Coalition for Community Schools has joined the ranks of stakeholders offering members of Congress their laundry list of dos and don’ts for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind law.

On Monday morning, the coalition sent a letter to Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chairman and ranking member of the Senate education committee, to emphasize the important role school-community partnerships should play in the overhaul of the federal education law.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Community Schools.

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From Edutopia: “5 App and Mobile Use Guides for Parents”

Edutopia has just published 5 App and Mobile Use Guides for Parents.

Their post includes:

A Guide for Using Apps During Family Time (Grades K-5)

Apps to Share With the Children in Your Life (Grades K-5)

Recommendations for Fun, Engaging Family Apps (All Ages)

A Smartphone Guide for Parents of Tweens and Teens (Grades 6-12)

A Parent’s Guide to Phone Safety (All Ages)

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“Concerns about parenting in poorer families ‘misplaced’”

Concerns about parenting in poorer families ‘misplaced’ is the headline of an article in The Telegraph.

Here’s an excerpt:

Common perceptions that poorer mothers and fathers are likely to be less involved in their children’s lives are unfounded, according to research.

A new study argues that less well-off parents are just as likely to help with homework, play games and read with their children as those from wealthier backgrounds.

I’m adding it to “The Best Research Available On Parent Engagement.”

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Webinar On Parent Engagement This Wednesday

Joe Mazza, a very well-respected national leader on parent engagement, is leading a free Webinar on Engaging Families Using High & Low Tech Strategies this Wednesday.

You couldn’t find a person with greater knowledge about the topic and energy to impart it!

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Cupcake Ban Picks An Unnecessary Fight With Parents

I’m no fan of junk food but, as I’ve previously posted, banning parents from making baked goods for bake sales or to give to an entire class is, in my humble opinion, not a good use of a school’s “relationship capital.”

Texas’ agricultural commissioner just proclaimed a “cupcake amnesty” eliminating any local schools’ restrictions.

I’m not convinced that it’s an important enough issue that the state needs to make or repeal related rules, but schools just need to be more careful about picking their battles.

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Another Good Critique Of The “Broken Compass” Book On Parent Involvement

Jay P. Green, with whom I often disagree (but not this time!), has written an excellent review of the infamous “Broken Compass” book on parent involvement titled Wrong Diagnosis on Homework Help from Parents: Authors find correlation, mistake it for causation.

Here’s how he ends it:

After examining more than 300 pages of The Broken Compass with its dozens of regressions and charts, I know no more about the causal relationship between parental involvement and academic progress than I did before. If the purpose of The Broken Compass were simply to raise questions about this inverse correlation, it might be a fine book. But when the authors and unthinking reporters use it to recommend that parents stop helping kids with homework, they are being irresponsible, no less so than advising sick people to avoid hospitals because they tend to kill you.

I’m adding it to The Best Commentaries On The “Broken Compass” Parent Involvement Book.

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L.A. Times Editorial Headline: “Charter schools’ volunteer demands may discourage needy students”

I’ve previously posted about a report on California charter schools which found that many require parents to volunteer their time as a condition of their child attending the school (see “Concern over charter schools’ requirement for volunteer time”).

Now — a little late — the Los Angeles Times has published an editorial commenting on the report. Here’s how it ends:

Once children are enrolled, it’s fine for schools to encourage voluntarism as a way of engaging parents in their children’s education. But setting discouraging rules should be prohibited. The state Board of Education should impose firm rules to stop schools from requiring unpaid parental labor; California students are guaranteed the right to a free and public education.

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Must-Read New Yorker Article On The “Word Gap”

The New Yorker has just published what I think is probably the best article written on the “word gap.” It’s titled The Talking Cure: The poorer parents are, the less they talk with their children. The mayor of Providence is trying to close the “word gap.”

It includes a substantial section detailing critiques, too. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Word Gap.”

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“Four Ways to Improve Parent Involvement in K-12 Learning”

Four Ways to Improve Parent Involvement in K-12 Learning is a very good post at Education Week by Matthew Lynch.

It’s worth reading the entire post (it’s not very long), but here’s one of his “ways”:

1. Encourage collaboration. In general, parents who are supported by regular interactive meetings with teachers often show greater trust levels in teacher-parent relationships. Schools can create an environment favorable for the development of teacher-parent relationships by sharing the responsibility of improving learning processes and the academic performance of children. Many schools that claim to support collaborative decision-making patterns hold complete decision-making authority in their own hands, which can reduce the positive influence of collaborative decision-making pattern. Let parents feel empowered in the learning paths of their kids by allowing them certain input and choices.

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“Father-figure engagement making difference…”

Father-figure engagement making difference at Tahoe elementary school is the headline of a short article in a local California newspaper about a father-involvement program.

What’s intriguing about it is that it is apparently part of a national program promoting father-involvement in schools called Watch D.O.G.S. from The National Center For Fathering. I have heard of neither the program or the Center, but they sound helpful. Let me know what you know about them.

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts On Involving Fathers In Schools.

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“Parents still struggling for a seat at the table”

The Notebook, an excellent education publication in Philadelphia, has been reprinting their favorite pieces from past years.

One is particularly good: Parents still struggling for a seat at the table.

Here’s how it begins:

“Profound parent involvement means sharing leadership – and that means sharing knowledge, responsibility, and most difficult of all, power. This is anything but simple.”

In this statement, longtime education activist Rochelle Nichols Solomon describes the core of an ongoing struggle to create more meaningful roles for parents in schools.

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“A Different Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty”

A Different Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty is a lengthy article in The Atlantic about the growing interest in “two-generation” school programs that support both parents and children.

I’ve written some previous posts on the same topic:

“Want More Kids to Graduate? Report Suggests Starting with Mom and Dad”

“D.C. charter school educates parents alongside children”

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