“Native American Student Achievement Linked to Parental Involvement”

Native American Student Achievement Linked to Parental Involvement is the headline of an article about a new report on the challenges facing Native American students.

Here’s an excerpt:

The report analyzed 33 Montana schools and found the factor most correlated with student success was the “school’s effort to engage parents, families and communities in the school, outweighing even school leadership, teacher quality and curriculum.”

Here’s How NOT To Introduce The Idea Of Teacher Home Visits…

Within days of the Chicago School Board retracting its promise to increase the salaries of teachers while increasing the salaries of its Central Office staff, its new Superintendent proposed to eliminate teacher professional development days and pay increases due to seniority or teachers obtaining additional credentials. He also wants to have teachers make two home visits a year to their students.

Oh, and he just announced these plans to the press without talking to teachers or their union.

I’m obviously all for teachers making home visits, but this is definitely not the way to get teacher buy-in…

“High Performing Community Schools Receive National Awards for Excellence”

I’ve written in the past about “community schools,” which are schools that make a particular effort to connect with the surrounding community. Many, though not all, work with local parents and community members as partners in developing effective strategies (some of these schools, though well-intentioned, just decide to do programs on their own).

Three schools are receiving national awards this week for their work as community schools, and you can read about them here.

“L.A. Unified to spend $20 million on parent centers”

L.A. Unified to spend $20 million on parent centers is the headline of an article in today’s Los Angeles Times.

I generally don’t tend to be a big fan of these kinds of parent centers because they are often well-intentioned efforts to “do to” parents (involvement) instead of “doing with” (engagement). It can have a kind of “if you build it, they will come” perspective. Instead, I’d rather have resources devoted to supporting teachers and other school staff go out and visit with parents, listen to their needs and desires, and then have parents work together — with school support — to figure out what they want.

They might, or might not, want a parent center.

Of course, it’s easier to just build a room….

Parent Trigger In The News

As regular readers know, I’m definitely not a fan of the so-called “parent trigger” law (you might want to read The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools).

Today, there were lots of news articles about the status of the parent trigger in various areas. Here is a listing of useful articles to check out:

Update: Texas Close To Enacting Parent Trigger Law by Alexander Russo

‘Parent Trigger’ Laws: Shutting Schools, Raising Controversy in TIME Magazine

Legislative Momentum Stalls for ‘Parent Trigger’ Proposals in Ed Week (free registration is required to read the entire article).

Parent ‘Trigger Law’ In New York Would Allow Parents To Fire Teachers, Principals is at The Huffington Post.

Buffalo parents lobbying in Albany appeared in The Buffalo News.

New Online Resource To Answer Parent & Student Questions About College

En Camino: Educational Toolkit For Families is a series of free online “modules,” available in both English and Spanish, designed to help answer parent and student questions about college. It was just unveiled a few minutes ago by the National Center For Family Literacy.

I’m adding this resource to two “The Best…” lists:

The Best Posts About Getting Our Students To Attend College

The Best Sites For Encouraging ELL’s To Attend College

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career.

“Engagement must not stop at the gate”

“Engagement must not stop at the gate” is the title of an op-ed published in the Sydney Morning Herald. Its author is the president of the “Australian Council of State School Organisations.” I’m not sure if that’s the Australian equivalent of the PTA or the national association of School Boards. Perhaps a reader can enlighten me.

It’s always interesting to see how parent engagement is viewed in countries other than the United States.