The NY Times’ Tom Friedman On Parent Involvement

New York Times’ columnist Tom Friedman has just published a pretty interesting column on the importance of parent involvement, though I do wish he had a better headline than “How About Better Parents?”

In it, he highlights a a couple of new studies (and includes links to them) and quotes one researcher:

Schleicher explained to me that “just asking your child how was their school day and showing genuine interest in the learning that they are doing can have the same impact as hours of private tutoring. It is something every parent can do, no matter what their education level or social background.”

I’m adding this post to The Best Ideas On How Parents Can Help Their Kids Succeed Academically.

Illinois School Back In NCLB Parent Involvement Compliance

In September, I had posted about a school in Illinois that had been found to be in non-compliance with the parent involvement requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

I had thought it was interesting because, one, I hadn’t heard of that happening to any other school anywhere and, two, since it’s so easy to be in compliance I figured they had to be pretty bad.

Well, it appears they have made some changes, and have now been found to be in compliance.

Important Report On Parent Engagement Released Today

Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0: Collaborative Strategies to Advance Student Learning is the lengthy name of an excellent report released today by the National Education Association.

It highlights sixteen family-school-community partnerships, including the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project.

Here are important links:

You can access the entire report here.

Here’s an overview of the report.

And here’s some commentary on it from Learning First.

I’m adding it to The Best Overviews Of Parent Engagement.

Parent Trigger R.I.P.

Today, The Los Angeles Times published an editorial reflecting on the parent trigger’s lack of success, and described Parent Revolution’s retooling effort:

Instead of choosing the schools for a possible parent trigger and engineering the petitions, Parent Revolution now leaves it up to parents to determine whether they want to initiate major reforms and what kind.

The article charitably describes the organization’s success at this new strategy as “modest.”

Of course, this “new” strategy is the primary strategy used by all effective community organizers in modern times, and by successful organizers in history before the term was even coined.

If the Parent Revolution had begun its efforts with that perspective, had chosen not to demonize teachers and had decided not to declare forcefully that they were the only people who really cared about children, they might have been a positive force for educational improvement and had a lasting impact.

Now, however, their change in strategy has come far too late, and any credibility they might have had has been lost by the destructive tactics they have employed in the past. Of course, that would not necessarily mean they would be “out of the picture” in any kind of major school improvement efforts. If they had any power, it might still be worth engaging with them. In community organizing, power is either organized people or organized money. Parent Revolution has no people, and no money of their own — only grants from a handful of the usual suspects who support their version of “school reform.” With no people, and no success, those grants will wither away. Given this situation, there is no reason why any other parent, teacher or school organizations should pay any attention to them.

Parent Trigger R.I.P.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools.

“Pinellas school district tries going to parents”

Pinellas school district tries going to parents is an article about staff from a Florida school making home visits.

Generally, I don’t recommend going unannounced, but if a school widely publicizes it throughout the neighborhood and most parents know they’re going to happen on a particular Saturday it can usually work out fine. It sounds like this school might have done it that way.

I’m not too thrilled with staff giving parents the gift certificates for talking with them as described in the article, but, all in all, it sounds like they’re doing great work….