“Parent and Community Involvement in a College/Career–Ready Culture”

Parent and Community Involvement in a College/Career–Ready Culture is the title of a briefing paper from the Texas Comprehensive Center.

It’s designed to provide potential answers to these questions:

What are some examples of underachieving schools that have involved parents and community partners to increase student achievement through building a focus on college and career readiness? How do they solicit community response and what contributions have parents/community members made to support a college and career readiness environment? What does the research say about this topic?

You might also be interested in reading about what we do at our school to connect with students and their parents about college.

NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign

The National Education Association has launched a $6 Priority Schools Campaign which includes a strong focus on parent engagement.

You can read more about it at Ed Week’s article, NEA’s Brand of School Improvement. Here’s an excerpt:

Q. The scope of these federal grants is three years, but you’ll be reporting back to the Representative Assembly next year about progress. I know you don’t want to just look at academic progress, although that’s an important indicator. Can you give us an example of what benchmarks might look like for the other areas: for instance, parental involvement and community engagement?

A. Simmons: How many parents and community members do we have on the school councils, school improvement teams, site-based teams? This is where the rubber hits the road. What’s the budget allocations for these schools? What’s the hiring practice? How will the programs actually be implemented? And above all, the authority and accountability issues come into place. Also, we’ll be looking to see how engaged parents are in their children’s education. This can be the increased number of parents at PTA, but it’s also about the real involvement of parents not just coming to the conference but actually being a part of the school, actually coming in and working in the classroom, volunteering in the school, learning how to be a better advocate for the student. The advocacy piece goes all the way to the school board.

Promise Neighborhood Award Winners Announced

Yesterday, the Department of Education announced that 21 nonprofit organizations and universities will receive Promise Neighborhoods planning grants. These are designed to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone.

You can read more about them in these places:

The Hechinger Ed blog has a good summary and analysis.

Here’s the Department of Ed’s official announcement

And here’s another page from the DoE with additional materials.

The Washington Post has an article about the announcement.

Parents Sit-In & Demand Old School “Fieldhouse” Be Converted Into Library

Parents have been sitting-in and refusing to leave a school’s fieldhouse (I’m not quite sure what that is) and demanding the Chicago Public Schools instead convert it into a library. It’s scheduled to be demolished and have a soccer field created at its location, instead.

You can read more about it here:

Field house face-off: Pilsen parents continue sit-in to save building at Whittier Elementary School, Chicago Tribune

Parents Persevere At Condemned School Fieldhouse, CBS Chicago

Public Says More Involved Parents Is Number One Schools Need

TIME Magazine recently published a poll on Americans’ Views on Teacher Tenure, Merit Pay and Other Education Reforms.

In answer to the question “What do you think would improve student achievement the most?” 54 percent said “More involved parents.” That was nearly 30% higher than the next most popular answer (“more effective teachers”).

Perhaps politicians and districts might “get” that there is support out there for putting greater resources into parent engagement…..

Thanks to Thoughts On Education Policy for the tip.

Ed Week Begins Blog On Parents & Schools

Ed Week has just begun a blog titled “Parents & The Public: Exploring The Intersections Between Schools and The Rest of Us.”

It’s being written by Andrew Yarrow, who “has studied and written about education for The New York Times, the U.S. Department of Education, and Public Agenda and, as a parent, is no stranger to parental involvement in education.”

Sounds like it’s definitely worth a look…

Good Parent Engagement Video

Anne O’Brien wrote a nice commentary on parent engagement using my guest column in the Washington Post as a springboard. Check-out Inspiring Parents…Using Cash?

In that post, she also mentions a video interview she, along with the President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, did on the Lifetime television network about parent engagement. It’s definitely worth viewing.