PTA President Interview In Today’s Parade Magazine

Today’s Parade Magazine has a short interview with the first male President of the national PTA. It’s titled Schools Need Caring Parents.

Here’s the most interesting part of the interview:

The PTA has started lobbying for the first time in its history. We’ve worked with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D., N.Y.) on a soon-to-be-introduced bill that provides incentives for schools to partner with parents to increase student achievement and drive school reform.

That sounds interesting, and is along the lines of something I’ve written about previously (see California “Race To The Top” Legislation Gets Curiouser and Curiouser).

In surfing the Net, I haven’t been able to find out anything more specific about what might be in the bill. I’m not too thrilled with the PTA’s first move into lobbying — pushing for national standards. I hope they can do a bit better in this second foray into lobbying.

If anybody knows why might be in the bill, please share in the comments section of this post.

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One thought on “PTA President Interview In Today’s Parade Magazine

  1. Greetings,Mr. Ferlazzo

    As the new media relations strategist for National PTA, I am thrilled to read your blog and see your mention and curiosity of the Association’s advocacy priorities.

    First, though, it must be clarified that our support of National Standards is not where our advocacy activities begin. Actually, the Association has a long and impactful history of shaping public policy for children and education dating as far back as the early 1900s.

    In 1911, PTA advocated for a home education division within the U.S. Bureau of Education. Also in the 1920’s PTA ensured the passing of the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act. We have always been at the forefront of child advocacy issues.

    It is true, our public policy team based in Washington DC is working in tandem with Rep. McCarthy to pass the Family Engagement in Education Act. The Bill will promote effective family engagement policies and practices and strengthen the provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to create an infrastructure for effective, systemic family engagement on the local, state, and federal levels.

    If you have time, I’d like you to take a look at our 2010 Public Policy Agenda, which you can find here: http://www.pta.org/public_policy_agenda.asp. Our agenda lays out three major policy areas the Association will advance this year, including ESEA.

    You’ll also find background on the Common Core State Standards Initiative (commonly referred to as national standards); PTA recommendations and rationale. One of the recommendations that I personally appreciate is the one that says CCSSI should
    “Promote innovation and local solutions by ensuring states grant districts flexibility in using curriculum and professional development that reflects the needs and culture of the communities the district serves.”

    Of course the other recommendations are important and have great merit.

    Again, our public policy team works diligently to make sure PTA members are aware of legislative issues in their respective States and provide tools and resources to ensure effective advocacy. Garnering support from our elected officials in Congress is a byproduct of being the nation’s oldest and largest child advocacy association. It is a huge part of what PTA is all about advocating as one voice for all children.

    Again, it was great seeing a mention PTA…be sure to browse the site and subscribe to the federal policy updates. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to share with your readers.

    Take care!
    La’Keisha Gray-Sewell
    National PTA New Media Relations Strategist

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