“Blame” has certainly been a theme of many school reform discussions — including blaming teachers and blaming parents. Here are some commentaries on why no one, including teachers, should get sucked into that morass. You might also be interested in seeing all my parent engagement-related “The Best” lists here.
Parents Are Our Allies is a post I wrote excerpting an article by Pedro Noguera.
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.
Teachers Have Got To Stop Blaming Parents is a post I wrote.
Next, let’s go after the parents! is a good post by my Sacramento colleague Alice Mercer about one of the ramifications of the ongoing school reform debates.
“Parents Agree – Better Assessments, Less High-Stakes Testing” is a post I wrote about a recent survey.
A Parent’s Advice to the Chicago Teachers Union was written by Diane Ravitch. She shares a comment left by a parent on her blog. Here’s part of the parent’s statement:
For every irate, blustering, nasty parent you’ve encountered, I guarantee you there are 2 or 3 or even 9 who feel differently. And a lot of them will have your back, stand with you, speak out for you, support you fully: but you have to approach them, one on one. You have to make the first move, reach out, and ASK their help.
Teachers and Parents: Natural Allies in Defending Our Schools is a useful post by Anthony Cody at Education Week.
“Organized Parents, Organized Teachers was produced by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform as part of AISR’s ongoing efforts to support community organizing for better schools and collaborative, effective partnerships between community members, parents, and teachers.”
Building Parent-Teacher Unions is an important article about the extraordinary work going on in St. Paul Minnesota. Here’s how it starts:
On a Saturday afternoon in early March, some 60 people packed into a classroom at a technical high school north of Saint Paul, Minn., to discuss the strategic course of Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) Local 28’s upcoming contract negotiations. The remarkable thing is that most of them were not card-carrying union members, or even teachers. They were students, parents and community activists concerned about their schools and the attack on public education.
During the session, one group focused on the needs of teachers by answering the simple, yet important, prompt, “If you had the best school in the world, what would teachers deserve?” The other focused on students and asked, “If you had the best school in the world, what would students look like?”
The answers from the two groups mirrored each other. They called for wages and working conditions that sustain a teaching career and long-term professional growth, smaller class sizes, a focus on interdisciplinary and experiential learning, an emphasis on teaching over testing, and time set aside to allow students to learn, process and grow.
The session reflects what SPFT President Mary Cathryn Ricker calls the “new model” of community involvement, “with teachers, and parents, at the center of advocating for their profession, as opposed to teachers standing on the sidelines.”
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