A newspaper in Tennessee has just published an article about “Parental Involvement Standards” that the state has developed.
Standard 1: Welcoming all families into the school community- Families are active participants in the life of the school, and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class and school.
Standard 2: Communicating effectively—Families and school staff engage in regular, meaningful communication about student learning.
Standard 3: Supporting student success—Families and school staff continuously work together to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively.
Standard 4: Speaking up for every child—Families are informed and enabled to be advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.
Standard 5: Sharing power—Families and school staff are equal partners with equal representation in decisions that affect students and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs.
Standard 6: Collaborating with community—Families and school staff work together with community members to connect students, families, and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation.
I’m personally skeptical about the effect any kind of state standards actually have “on the ground” in schools and in the classroom, but these do sound good. The only way they can hurt, though, is if it leaves people who publish them feeling like they’ve actually done something useful (like people who call into talk radio), and don’t feel like they have to actually help provide resources to schools to implement them and help teachers and administrators feel like it’s in their self-interest to do so.