It Sounds Like California’s First & Only Parent Trigger School Is A Disaster

Adelanto Report Card: Year Zero of the Parent Trigger Revolution is from Capital and Main, and paints a devastating picture of life at California’s first and only school that has been initiated by using the parent trigger law.

It’s a must-read…..

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

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“‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County schools”

‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County schools is a nice article in The Washington Post.

This is how it begins:

Malik Shakur said he was so inspired by the participation at the Prince George’s County School System’s annual “Men Make a Difference Day” on Monday that he is seriously considering joining the PTSA at his son’s school, John Hanson Montessori School in Oxon Hill.

Shakur, an attorney who is scheduled to be in court later this week, said he planned to clear his calendar after learning during the event that the school was hosting a career day on Friday.

Shakur was one of about 125 fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and others at John Hanson who participated in the annual countywide event, which brings fathers and other male role models into the classroom to promote parental involvement in public schools.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Involving Fathers In Schools.

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“A Cure for Hyper-Parenting”

A Cure for Hyper-Parenting is a thought-provoking column in The New York Times that might be worth sharing and discussing at a parents meeting sometime.

Here’s an excerpt:

Don’t just parent for the future, parent for this evening. Your child probably won’t get into the Ivy League or win a sports scholarship. At age 24, he might be back in his childhood bedroom, in debt, after a mediocre college career. Raise him so that, if that happens, it will still have been worth it. A Dutch father of three told me about his Buddhist-inspired approach: total commitment to the process, total equanimity about the outcome.

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Connecticut District Not Happy With Proposal To Check Parent Volunteers

I’ve written quite a few posts about the problems with security policies some school districts are instituting.

Here’s the latest from Bridgeport, Connecticut:

A proposal to keep sex offenders and other criminals out of city schools by doing instant background checks and issuing photo IDs to all visitors could well be jettisoned before it is even tried.

Parents, members of the public and even school board members expressed concern that instead of keeping students safe, the system would become a deterrent to parent involvement for individuals who are undocumented, have pasts they want to put behind them or who worry about personal information being collected and stored by the school.

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Local PTA Support Student Protests In Colorado

You’ve probably heard about the student protests in Colorado against a proposed change by the local school board in the history curriculum (see The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado).

The head of the local PTA, which is supporting the students, has just published a nice piece in The New York Times.

Check out Heading the PTA, and Challenging the School Board in Colorado.

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Updates On Two Parent Volunteer Stories

I’ve written a number of posts about parent volunteers, including school district rules for them. Sometime soon I’ll create a “Best” list of them.

For now, though, here are links to two stories that I’ve previously posted about:

Pinellas might ease school policy blocking felons from volunteering is from The Tampa Bay Times.

N.C. District Proposes New Volunteer Rules for Undocumented Parents is from Education Week.

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“How To Stay In Touch With Your Child’s Teacher (Without Overdoing It)”

How To Stay In Touch With Your Child’s Teacher (Without Overdoing It) is a fairly lengthy article that just appeared in The Hartfort Courant.

For a long article in a major newspaper, though, I have to say it is surprisingly short of substance. Nevertheless, it’s probably worth a quick look by those particularly interested in parent involvement issues.

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“Community Engagement: The Secret Ingredient”

Community Engagement: The Secret Ingredient is a good commentary from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform that provides a good critique of much that is done in the name of “community-based” place-based-initiatives in education.

Simply put, they tend to be foundation and professional-driven instead of led by community residents — including parents.

It’s a critique that I’ve often made of community schools, as well as other funder-initiated efforts.

I’m adding this post both to The Best Resources For Learning About Community Schools and to The Best Examples Of Parent Engagement Through Community Organizing.

You might also be interested in Private Foundations Have A Place (And Have To Be Kept In Their Place).

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Three New Resources On Parent-Teacher Conferences

I’m adding these new resources to The Best Resources On Parent/Teacher Conferences:

Why Students Should Take the Lead in Parent-Teacher Conferences is from MindShift.

Supporting Ongoing, Constructive, and Meaningful Conversations About Student’s Progress is from The Harvard Family Research Project.

Parent Night: Declaring Students’ Independence is from Middleweb (not exactly on conferences, but close enough).

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Georgia School Board Member Won’t Let A Bad Idea Die: No Grad Tickets For Parents If They Don’t Come To Open House

Earlier in the year, I posted a news report about a Georgia School Board member who wanted to ban parents from their children’s high school graduation.

It appears he has now refined his idea a bit further:

“I think a parent should earn the right to attend a graduation,” he said. “How do you earn that right? Come to the open house. Come to curriculum night. And any other third thing that we deem important. You do these three things, you get graduation tickets.”

His idea is already on The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas list….

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NYC School Threatens Parents With A Call To Child-Welfare Agency If They Pick-Up Their Kids Late

Charter school parents warned that late pick-ups could mean child-welfare report is the headline of an article in Chalkbeat: New York.

Here’s how the article begins:

A charter elementary school on the Lower East Side is telling families they will be reported to the city’s child-welfare agency if they make a habit of not picking up their child on time.

And this story is the newest additions to The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas.

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Parent Trigger Ready To Bring Chaos To Ohio Schools

Schools in Columbus, Ohio, are bracing for chaos as they become a pilot project for using the parent trigger. The former superintendent (don’t you love it when people make decisions and don’t hang around to deal with the consequences?) offered the city up to the state as a place to experiment. The state has chosen StudentsFirst as a “neutral party” to be responsible for informing parents — Unbelievable!

You can read more about it at these two articles:

Nearly 1 in 5 Columbus Schools Qualify for Overhauls Under Parent-Trigger Law is from Ed Week.

StudentsFirst says it won’t play politics with Columbus schools parent trigger
is from The Columbus Dispatch.

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

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“volunteer forms scaring away parents with less-than-perfect pasts”

School Districts need to enter the real world and understand that being undocumented or having made mistakes in their lives doesn’t mean that they cannot help schools.

I’ve recently shared about how two school districts are mishandling this situation:

Charlotte Schools Say Undocumented Parents Can’t Volunteer In Schools — For Now, At Least

“Fla. School Board Candidate: Allow Some Parents With Criminal Pasts to Volunteer”

And, now, here’s another one, this time from Tulsa: TPS volunteer forms scaring away parents with less-than-perfect pasts

Do you have examples of Districts handling this issue with more maturity and responsibility?

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Newark School Fiasco Continues For Students & Parents

I’ve written a number of previous posts about the on-going fiasco at Newark schools, and it isn’t getting any better.

Some very understandable angry and furstrated parents called for a boycott on the first day of school last week, and there is some effort to make it a long-term one.

I don’t know the details on the ground there, but I do have to say from my community organizing experience that there is a long history of failed school boycotts (apart from one-day boycotts, which can be an effective show of strength with sufficient support) — they are generally just too difficult to maintain with parent work commitments and legal issues.

It does sound like the boycott of the first day had some success. I have to wonder, though, about the wisdom of trying to continue it.

Here’ are articles about the boycott:

Parents open ‘Freedom School,’ continue boycott of One Newark reorganization plan is from a New Jersey TV station.

Newark Schools Open, But Some Parents Boycott Over New Enrollment Program is from CBS New York.

Newark parents settle in for boycott is from Politico.

The Illusionist is by Bob Braun.

Newark superintendent urges parents not to boycott is from The Associated Press.

Parent Frustration Over Newark Student-Enrollment Plan Mounts is from Ed Week.

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