New National Parent Involvement Group Forms

You’ll definitely want to read the post, New National Group Aims to Advance Family-School Engagement Efforts, over at Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:

Some of the nation’s leading advocates and practitioners of family, school, and community engagement have joined forces to found a new organization to elevate their efforts to a higher level of influence in discussions about improving student achievement.

The new National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) hopes to lead efforts to garner much-needed financial and legislative support for an issue that many acknowledge is heralded as a crucial component of school improvement but is often neglected. The organization also will work to strengthen the network of family engagement experts and researchers nationwide to share best practices and develop more research-based policies in the field.

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It Sounds Like California’s First & Only Parent Trigger School Is A Disaster

Adelanto Report Card: Year Zero of the Parent Trigger Revolution is from Capital and Main, and paints a devastating picture of life at California’s first and only school that has been initiated by using the parent trigger law.

It’s a must-read…..

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools.

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Study Offers Parents Advice On Teen Internet Use

A major British study has just announced advice to parents about monitoring teen Internet use:

Their report came to three main conclusions:

Children who have positive offline relationships with their parents are more likely to navigate the web in a sensible way

Supportive and enabling parenting has a more positive impact than restricting or monitoring internet use

Teenagers left to self-regulate their internet and social media use are more likely to teach themselves new skills online and maintain
positive online relationships

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National Family Literacy Day Is November 1st

National Family Literacy Day is November 1st.

Here’s how Read Write Think describes it (and the same link has lots of related resources):

National Family Literacy Day®, celebrated across the U.S., focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1st, but many events are held throughout the month of November. Schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations participate through read-a-thons, celebrity appearances, book drives, and more

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“‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County schools”

‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County schools is a nice article in The Washington Post.

This is how it begins:

Malik Shakur said he was so inspired by the participation at the Prince George’s County School System’s annual “Men Make a Difference Day” on Monday that he is seriously considering joining the PTSA at his son’s school, John Hanson Montessori School in Oxon Hill.

Shakur, an attorney who is scheduled to be in court later this week, said he planned to clear his calendar after learning during the event that the school was hosting a career day on Friday.

Shakur was one of about 125 fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and others at John Hanson who participated in the annual countywide event, which brings fathers and other male role models into the classroom to promote parental involvement in public schools.

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

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“A Cure for Hyper-Parenting”

A Cure for Hyper-Parenting is a thought-provoking column in The New York Times that might be worth sharing and discussing at a parents meeting sometime.

Here’s an excerpt:

Don’t just parent for the future, parent for this evening. Your child probably won’t get into the Ivy League or win a sports scholarship. At age 24, he might be back in his childhood bedroom, in debt, after a mediocre college career. Raise him so that, if that happens, it will still have been worth it. A Dutch father of three told me about his Buddhist-inspired approach: total commitment to the process, total equanimity about the outcome.

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Connecticut District Not Happy With Proposal To Check Parent Volunteers

I’ve written quite a few posts about the problems with security policies some school districts are instituting.

Here’s the latest from Bridgeport, Connecticut:

A proposal to keep sex offenders and other criminals out of city schools by doing instant background checks and issuing photo IDs to all visitors could well be jettisoned before it is even tried.

Parents, members of the public and even school board members expressed concern that instead of keeping students safe, the system would become a deterrent to parent involvement for individuals who are undocumented, have pasts they want to put behind them or who worry about personal information being collected and stored by the school.

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California Parent Groups & Effective (or Ineffective) Political Strategy

Two years ago, the California PTA made a disastrous decision to ally themselves with a California billionaire against our Governor.

This year, the smaller Educate our State parents group (which has done some good work in the past but has also previously missed the mark) has made what I think is another political mistake. They’ve decided to become the face of the opposition to one of the Governor’s pet projects, the creation of a “rainy day” fund to put aside a portion of tax revenues in reserve.

The California Teachers Association is neutral on the ballot measure and, instead, is focusing all its efforts to re-elect Tom Torlakson as state Superintendent of Public Instruction in the face of an onslaught of attacks from so-called “school reformers.”

It’s clear the ballot measure is going to win, and if Educate Our State really wants to effectively support public education, I’d suggest they follow CTA’s lead. Another parents group opposing an enormously popular governor (who has been a huge supporter of public education) on an issue they are sure to lose is not the ticket to political power or credibility. The California PTA learned that lesson the hard way, and are just beginning to rebuild their stature.

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Local PTA Support Student Protests In Colorado

You’ve probably heard about the student protests in Colorado against a proposed change by the local school board in the history curriculum (see The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado).

The head of the local PTA, which is supporting the students, has just published a nice piece in The New York Times.

Check out Heading the PTA, and Challenging the School Board in Colorado.

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“Connecting Families” Program From Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media, which has been doing a good job reviewing different media for its family-friendliness for years, has created “Connecting Families” (and it’s supported by the National PTA).

Here’s how they describe it:

From cyberbullying and photo sharing to digital footprints and online safety, the Connecting Families program helps parents and kids address important topics and have meaningful conversations about making great choices in their digital lives.

This free, year long program includes everything parent facilitators need to encourage their schools and communities to use connected technologies in ways that are both fun and safe. Our resources include a step-by-step hosting guide, conversation topics, and printable resources to share — all carefully researched and crafted by Common Sense educational technology experts.

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Updates On Two Parent Volunteer Stories

I’ve written a number of posts about parent volunteers, including school district rules for them. Sometime soon I’ll create a “Best” list of them.

For now, though, here are links to two stories that I’ve previously posted about:

Pinellas might ease school policy blocking felons from volunteering is from The Tampa Bay Times.

N.C. District Proposes New Volunteer Rules for Undocumented Parents is from Education Week.

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