Hispanic students vanish from Alabama schools is the headline of today’s USA Today article on a judge letting stand a law that requires schools to determine if students are undocumented.
I’ve previously written several posts on this Alabama insanity. It’ll certainly do wonders for parent engagement among Latino families — if any are left.
I’ve written several posts about parent involvement/engagement efforts in Milwaukee — both because the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel there has provided some good coverage and because I have a particular interest in the city because I went to high school there.
Parental participation in MPS appears weak is a new article that has some useful information and analysis.
October is recognized in a number of states as Parent Involvement Month, thought others recognize it in November or March.
States that I’ve seen announce it for March include Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Do you know of others?
The Obama administration said awhile ago that it was going to eliminate funding of the Parent Information and Resource Centers, and I’ve previously posted several times about it being a mistake.
It’s going to happen at the end of this month, and you can read about it at this Washington Post piece, “Parent involvement centers to close for lack of funding.”
Today, The New York Times published an article detailing the failure of the parent trigger law. In fact, it even quotes the law’s creator giving an analysis of the causes behind its failure that pretty much echo the critiques that opponents of the law (see The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools) have made since it was enacted.
In fact, the end of the parent trigger may be one of the few educational predictions I made for this year that might actually end up being accurate.
ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative is offering great resources on parent engagement throughout the month of September — podcasts, examples of successful schools, post, and much more.
Read all about it in their September newsletter. It’s not to be missed!
What Parents Really Want to Tell Teachers is an interesting and useful sort of response to Ron Clark’s recent commentary (see Jeez, What Was Ron Clark Thinking?).
It’s short and will only take a minute or two to read….
Los Angeles Times writer Jim Newton really “lost it” earlier this week in his column, “The Impact of the Parent Trigger.” In it, he wrote:
…..the quiet stir of their revolution is as inspiring as the civil rights battles of modern times — the demand for racial equality in the South, the recognition of farmworkers’ right to unionize, the right of same-sex couples to marry.
For a more accurate picture of the parent trigger, you might want to check out The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools.
What Can Community Organizing Teach Us about Parent Engagement? Five Simple Ways to Rethink the Bake Sale is a long title for a useful short article from the Annenberg Institute For School Reform.
It’s worth a quick read….
Putting our minds to helping immigrants learn English is Los Angeles column by Steve Lopez where he makes good points about parent engagement, and about the importance of parents learning English. At the same time, he rightfully backtracks from some harsh comments he made in an earlier column about the same topic where he was inappropriately judgmental about Spanish use at parent meetings.
During my community organizing career, we often held our meetings bilingually or sometimes just in Spanish. At the same time, we always encouraged people to learn English because the reality is that English is the language of power here. As Lopez points out, though, there are often extenuating circumstances for non-English speaking parents, including having to work multiple jobs and the lack of ESL classes. There are still plenty of things parents can do to help their kids academically, though, and, as he writes, school districts can help by re-instituting adult ESL classes.
Lopez suggests that part of the $200 million in private donations the LA School Superintendent is raising could be used for this purpose. Now that would be a good use of the monies. I fear that much of it is going to be used to further ineffective and, in some cases, destructive strategies pushed by some school reformers.
Putting Parents in Charge is a condescending NY Times column on parent engagement that was written by Peg Tyre.
Among other things, she talks about how parents aren’t “sophisticated” enough to truly know what a good school is because often times they will pick ones with “low academic achievement” — and that’s usually a code phrase for low test scores. Excuse me — perhaps many parents know that there is far more to getting a good education than being able to do well on a multiple choice standardized test!
She calls for “substantive training programs” for parents so they can make choices about what “works best in schools.” I wonder who will make that determination? How much you wanna’ bet that not many teachers would be invited into that process? And it doesn’t look like many parents would be, either….
Too Plugged In is an article in this month’s issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership.
In it, Thomas R. Hoerr, who is a “head of school” in New York (I assume that’s the same as a principal?), talks about how he’s training to emphasize face-to-face conversations with parents instead of emails.
Conversations that happen in the middle is the title of a post at the Daily Riff, which has a video, along with a text summary, of Lorna Constantini talking about parent engagement.
I’ve linked often to Lorna’s posts, and I’d encourage you to take a look at her video….
Parents Get Stuck In is the headline of a recent article in the Irish Times about parent involvement in that country.
I don’t really understand what the headline means, but it’s an interesting article.
Parents Aren’t to Blame for the Achievement Gap: A History of Injustice Is! is the titled of a piece in the Huffington Post written by a teacher.
It shares a good perspective on look at the assets of parents, and the importance of not “blaming” them.
All schools that receive Title 1 funds must meet certain parent involvement requirements, though it seems pretty easy for them to meet the “letter” of the law as opposed to its “spirit.”
An Illinois school, though, was just found to be in violation of that law. It must have been pretty bad.
It’s the first school I’ve heard of that has had that happen to it. Does anybody know how often this occurs?
Parent Teacher Conference Dos and Don’ts offers some very helpful advice to teachers. It’s from New York State United Teachers.
Thanks to Lorna Constantini for the tip.
Empowering parents — to sign petitions or become engines for change? is a post at the Thoughts on Public Education blog which gives an example of genuine parent organizing and engagement.
It’s definitely worth reading….
Most of you are familiar with the nearly 800 “The Best…” lists I’ve posted at my main blog.
Here, at this blog, I haven’t gotten around to “curating” my hundreds of posts into many useful “The Best…” lists, other than every six months I publish two types of lists: My choices for the Best Posts in the previous six months, and another listing the most popular ones with readers.
I’m not making any promises when I’ll get around to doing it, but I plan on “curating” the resources I’ve posted about related to parent engagement into the following lists:
The Best Research Available On Parent Engagement
The Best Resources On Making Home Visits
The Best Advice For Teachers Around Parent Engagement
The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas
The Best Examples Of Parent Engagement Through Community Organizing
The Best Parent Engagement Resources From Outside The United States
The Best & Worst On Parent Engagement Public Policy
The Best Resources For Parents To Engage In Schools
The Best Resources On Parents and Community Organizing
I might come up with a few more, but these are the ones I’ll be working on organizing over the next year.