New York City Schools Gets A New Parent Engagement Chief

I’ve posted previously about the absolutely awful job the New York City schools seem to do related to parent involvement/engagement (Does The New York City Dept. Of Ed Have Any Clue What They’re Doing In Parent Engagement?).

Well, this week the new NYC Schools Chancellor fired the head of parent engagement for the city’s schools and hired a new person.

Here are some additional perspectives on the change.

My Best Posts On Building Parent Engagement In Schools — 2011 (So Far)

I usually just do a year-end list on parent engagement posts and many other topics, but it gets a little crazy having to review all of my zillion posts at once. So, to make it easier for me — and perhaps, to make it a little more useful to readers — I’m going to start publishing mid-year lists, too. These won’t be ranked, unlike my year-end “The Best…” lists, and just because a post appears on a mid-year list doesn’t guarantee it will be included in an end-of-the-year one. But, at least, I won’t have to review all my year’s posts in December…

You might also be interested in:

My Best Posts On Building Parent Engagement In Schools — 2010

My Best Posts & Articles About Building Parent Engagement In Schools — 2009

In addition, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog.

Here are my choices for My Best Posts On Building Parent Engagement In Schools — 2011 (So Far):

Does The New York City Dept. Of Ed Have Any Clue What They’re Doing In Parent Engagement?

Southern States Targeting Immigrant Children

“Power of home visits and caring stressed to teachers”

“Complain at school and get a knock on the door”

What Do Students Think About Parent Involvement?

New York City Mayor Insults Parents — Again

“Involvement or Engagement?”

“Teachers’ visits to students’ homes can make big difference”

“Districts Use Web Polls to Survey Parents on Hot Topics”

Good Middle School Journal Article On Parent Involvement

Now It’s Hartford’s Turn To Show How NOT To Do Parent Involvement

Now It’s New York City’s Turn To Show Us How NOT To Do Parent Engagement

Again, Let’s Not Blame Parents

“Must-Read” Parent Tool Kit

More On Star Wars & Parent Engagement

Newark’s Outreach Effort Appears To Have Been A Sham

The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools

Rahm Emanuel’s “Transactional” Perspective On Parent Involvement/Engagement

Why It’s So Important To Speak Positively To Parents About Their Kids

What Is With All These Proposed Punitive Measures Against Parents?

Parent Trigger Supporters Attack PTA, Compare Schools To Batterers

Feedback is always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to explore the 700 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

Does The New York City Dept. Of Ed Have Any Clue What They’re Doing In Parent Engagement?

Two months after completely bungling elections for Parent Councils (and that election was a “do-over” because they had completely bungled it the first time), they have announced spending $2 million dollars for a survey to parents.

I have voiced my concerns about the use of surveys in previous posts. I am amazed, though, the the survey is not even to ask parents about what they think should be done in schools. It’s about “what parents want to know and how they want to receive information.”

The comments following the newspaper article very articulately express a clear critique of the plan. Here’s one:

In other words, there’s no money for classroom supplies and we’re going to lose several thousand teachers through attrition. Yet money is found for pet projects like this one. If the DOE wants to know what parents are thinking, ask the schools and staff (e.g. parent coordinators) who are on the front lines every day dealing with them. That wouldn’t cost a dime. Secondly, parents and the communities they come from know that their voices are not heard. At the PEP meetings to close schools, parents were ignored by the thousands. The community school boards have been stripped of all power. The real stakeholders are the private corporations who “support” the schools and eat up money with no-bid contracts.

What are they thinking in the DOE offices?

“Calif board OKs rules giving parents school power”

Calif board OKs rules giving parents school power is the headline of an ABC News article describing the California State Board of Education’s approval of regulations to govern use of the parent trigger law.

As I’ve written many times before, it’s a bad law that should have never been passed. Given that it is the law, however, it’s important that it have much clearer regulations than it had under the temporary rules.

And, at this point, it doesn’t matter a great deal since it’s safe to say the parent trigger law appears to be disappearing on its own….

“Why parents love a lower-rated school”

Why parents love a lower-rated school is an interesting post from Jay Mathews.

It’s about a school that is presently mixed between lower and middle income families. The District now wants to move many of the middle income families to a different school that is “higher-rated.” The middle income families are fighting it.

I guess teachers aren’t the only people who don’t believe that test scores are the only thing worth measuring and valuing…

“Legislative Momentum Stalls for ‘Parent Trigger’ Proposals”

Legislative Momentum Stalls for ‘Parent Trigger’ Proposals is the headline in an article today at Education Week.

Here’s an excerpt:

The momentum behind “parent-trigger” proposals, one of the hottest ideas for overhauling struggling schools, has slowed in statehouses amid political opposition and vexing questions about how those bold plans should be implemented at the local level.

Numerous states this year have introduced parent-trigger proposals, which would allow parents the opportunity to restructure or close academically struggling traditional public schools or convert them to charters.

Most of those proposals, which have drawn varying levels of bipartisan support, have stalled or died, while others have been scaled back significantly.

Some of my education predictions for 2011 might not come to pass, but it certainly looks like I’m going to be right on for at least one of them:

Efforts to implement the so-called “parent-trigger” will fail miserably, and the idea will fade from memory…

Parent University Program Begins In Birmingham

A very major effort is getting underway in Birmingham, Alabama, to create a series of “Parent Universities” throughout the school district.

I’ve written quite a bit about “Parent Universities” in the past.

Elisa Gonzalez, our school’s Parent Engagement Coordinator, has done an extraordinary job working with parents to create an extremely popular Parent University — on that focuses on what parents say they want to do and learn, and one that does not have a pre-packaged curriculum. In addition, parent leaders and Elisa work with the University of California-Davis to identify learning resources.

Many classes done in the name of “parent university” around the country, however, do not seem to share that same emphasis on parent leadership.

I hope that’s not the case in Birmingham…

I Hope This Is Not A Good Indication Of What The Dept. Of Ed Is Doing About Family Engagement

Family Engagement: Four Great Ways to Get Involved is a report on the Department of Education’s blog about a family engagement forum they recently hosted.

If the blog post is an accurate indication of what occurred, then it’s a sad commentary about the level of the Department’s sophistication and leadership on this topic — just bland obvious recommendations.

Let me know if you think I’m being too harsh in my reaction…