New York Times Highlights Failure of Parent Trigger

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.

The Definition of Hyperbole…

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.

“Putting our minds to helping immigrants learn English”

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.

N.Y. Times Runs Condescending Column On Parent Engagement

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….

Illinois School Found In Violation Of Federal Parent Involvement Law

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?

Reorganizing This Blog A Bit

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.