The New York City school district has had a very troubled recent history of not encouraging parent engagement.
One example of those troubles is their talking for three years about starting a parent academy.
The teachers union decided to take things in their own hands, though, and have just begun their own parent academy. Here’s an excerpt from an article today describing its first session:
…. with workshop titles such as “Parent as Leader,” and “Parent as Lobbyist,” the academy’s main purpose is to motivate parents to advocate on behalf of their children and schools, and demand education policy changes.
About fifty parents—ten from each borough—packed a third-floor conference room at union headquarters for the new academy’s inaugural meeting on Saturday morning….
The morning’s activities were designed to prompt parents to think about and articulate positive qualities of their schools, as well as issues to complain about, from teacher turnover to confusing test policies.
Some of the parents said they signed up for the five week long workshop series because they wanted to fell more included in school- and district-level policy discussions that currently feel out of reach. Others said they also wanted knowledge of how to empower their children to do the same.