This Week’s Parent Teacher Chat On Twitter

Guest Post by Joe Mazza

Middle & High School Family Engagement Strategies

#PTchat, Wed., 5/2/12 – 9PM EST/6PM PST

According to the Family Engagement for High School Success Toolkit provided by the Harvard Family Research Project and the United Way,family engagement tends to drop off as teens enter high school because families are intimidated by the high school environment and feel less confident about supporting their teen’s academic progress at that level.

However, it is imperative that parents become and/or remain involved in their child’s education as he or she transitions into high school.

As parents and teachers, we must create a more seamless family engagement path, a way into and out of high school so families remain engaged throughout their teen’s high school grades.

Join us this Wednesday night (9PM EST / 6PM PST) as parents and educators discuss family engagement strategies geared toward secondary schools. The diverse and global perspectives present during the chat will make for a lively, informative and collaborative discussion. Bring your best ideas and successes as we begin planning for the 2012-2013 school year.

Past #PTchats have been archived on Joe Mazza’s eFACE Today blog.

“Parent trigger misfires, again”

Parent trigger misfires, again is by Dean Vogel, President of the California Teachers Association, and appeared in the San Bernadino Sun.

Here’s how it ends:

California students, parents, and school communities deserve better than this deeply flawed law and the questionable tactics of a group that is more interested in making national headlines than in helping students. Unless parents are fully informed and involved in a transparent and inclusive reform process, California’s parent trigger will continue to miss the target.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools.

Report On “Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities”

The Harvard Family Research Project has just published a report titled Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children’s Learning.

This is how they describe it:

Families play an important role as the primary bridge between the multiple learning settings where their children learn and grow. For this reason, there is an increasing need for expanded learning opportunities (ELOs), including afterschool and other out-of-school time programs, to engage families in more meaningful ways to better support children’s learning and development.

In Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children’s Learning, the second brief in our series with the National Conference of State Legislatures, we explore the ways that families and ELOs must work as equal partners in order to ensure ELOs are contributing to children’s learning in meaningful ways. These include:

* Understanding children’s learning needs
* Ensuring that program goals and activities align with children’s larger learning goals
* Facilitating communication with other settings where children learn to better coordinate learning supports (e.g., tutors,
books, and other learning materials)
* Sharing key data and results regarding children’s learning progress

This brief discusses these elements in more detail, supported by evidence from recent research.

“Parent to schools chief: ‘You don’t understand schools’”

Parent to schools chief: ‘You don’t understand schools’ is an excellent post about the recently announce bizarre restructuring of Philadelphia schools. In the post, parent leader Helen Gym makes some great points. Here’s an excerpt:

You’re not speaking to me with this brand of disaster capitalism that tries to shock a besieged public with unproven, untested, and drastic action couched as “solutions.” You’re not speaking to me when you invoke language like “achievement networks,” “portfolio management,” and “rightsizing” our schools — and say not a word about lower class sizes or increasing the presence of loving support personnel or enriching our curriculum.

Parent Involvement Advocate To Meet Obama At White House Today

Myrdin Thompson, who has written some posts elsewhere that I’ve highlighted here on this blog, will be recognized at The White House today for her work in promoting parent involvement.

She’s quoted as saying:

“I would say to the President, help me in my work so that more families are involved in their child’s educational experience in order to create stronger communities of learning and excellence for all students,” she said in an email Wednesday. “All parents and families have something to contribute, we just have to be willing to acknowledge that and work towards creating better partnerships so that all children succeed.”

This Week’s Parent Teacher Chat On Twitter

Guest Post by Joe Mazza

What is this “flipped classroom” people are talking about?

What are the implications for parents, teachers and students?

#PTchat, Wed., 4/25 9PM EST/6PM PST

The “flipped classroom” is defined by Knewton in this cool infographic, as “inverted teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class and moving “homework” into the classroom.”

For schools interested in venturing down the “flipped” road must look at the implications of this model for students, staff and families. Every educational and home setting has a different level of readiness for outside the box ideas like this one.

During Parent-Teacher Chat (#PTchat) this Wednesday, 4/25 at 9PM Eastern / 6PM Pacific, we’ll spend an hour discussing the flipped classroom model. We’ve invited parents, teachers and leaders who are currently harnessing the “flipped classroom,” as well as some high school students in flipped classrooms to join our discussion and help us see it through their lens as well. The diverse perspectives present during the chat will make for a lively, informative and collaborative discussion.

Please visit Joe Mazza’s eFACE Today blog to learn more! Past #PTchats have been archived here.

“Finding an End to the Parent-Teacher Wars”

Finding an End to the Parent-Teacher Wars is a nice piece by Jessica Lahey that appeared in The New York Times.

She offers some good advice.

Unfortunately, though, she cites Ron Clark as her sort of inspiration for the post.

Ron Clark might be a very good teacher, but I certainly wouldn’t listen to any advice he gives about parent/teacher relationships.

NOTE: Jessica tried to leave a comment on this piece, but had difficulty posting it. Here is what she said in a message to me:

Thanks so much for your mention of my NYT piece. I tried to comment on the actual post but I kept getting error messages about including words such as “.” that were not allowed. My comment was: “I may not agree with everything Ron Clark says and does, but I do agree with the sentiments he expressed in the CNN piece I linked to in my article. He said some words that really needed to be said, and he’s lucky enough to have the freedom to say them – a freedom many other teachers don’t have. Thanks for for the mention, and I really appreciate the comments.”

Upcoming Twitter Chat On Ed Week Parent Engagement Series

I previously posted about the two-week parent engagement discussion over at Education Week and my contribution to it.

As part of that conversation, the Center For Teaching Quality is organizing a Twitter chat on the topic this Thursday. Here’s their announcement:

Join @teachingquality for a live twitter chat about parent involvement, Thursday, 4/19/12, 8:30-9:30 p.m. ET, Chat hashtag: #teaching2030

“This Week’s #PTchat – Taking You Through Each Awesome Educational Chat & Hashtag”

Guest Post by Joe Mazza:

This Week’s #PTchat – Taking You Through Each Awesome Educational Chat & Hashtag

*Special Time* Wednesday, 4/18 – 8PM EST / 5PM PST

Join #PTchat this Wednesday night from 8-9PM EST (Special Time) as we discuss many of the educational and parenting hashtags, what they stand for and when you can tune in to participate or lurk in on the conversations. If you take part in a weekly chat, host or co-moderate, be sure your hashtag and/or chat is represented. Share out when it occurs, what topics you’ve discussed, links to your archives and how parents and teachers can add their perspectives and contribute.

Building a Personal Learning Network (PLN) relies heavily upon finding others who are doing the same work as you are around the world. This chat is a great opportunity for PLN building and finding a new hashtag to support your work.

Please join us this Wednesday, 4/18 at 8PM EST / 5PM PST. For more information, please visit Joe Mazza’s eFACE Today Blog. #PTchat is a weekly chat where parents and teachers around the world come together using the hashtag #PTchat. The goal behind #PTchat is to encourage a transparent and collaborative dialogue between parents and educators. All #PTchats are archived here.

“School Reformers” Steal PTA’s Name

I have a lot of issues with what some people do in the name of school reform — like stealing the PTA’s name.

A group of hedge fund managers — I’m not kidding, that’s who’s on their board — started a New York City organization called… PTA Now. Here’s their flyer:

Thanks to Ed Wize for the tip.

It appears they might have just changed their name to “FTA” (Families Taking Action) because of the outcry against the deceit.

Is this how these folks operate in the business world?