Can CMS get more parents involved in educating our children? is the headline of an article in Charlotte’s newspaper about a meeting District staff had with Karen Mapp, one of the most respected experts around on parent engagement.
Here’s an excerpt:
Her message was simple: If districts truly want parents to be engaged, they must do a better job of inviting them in and listening to what parents say they need and want. And this effort, she said, must extend beyond the schools to include the entire district.
The Heinz Endowments have just made a $600,000 commitment to parent engagement in Pittsburgh. And what’s particularly promising about it is that they’re doing it in partnership with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, a group that has a good grasp of parent engagement (as opposed to parent involvement).
Read about it at How can more Pittsburgh parents become engaged in their kids’ education?
Parent groups in Mississippi are spearheading a drive for a state constitutional amendment to force the legislature to adequately fund schools.
It sounds like a pretty challenging, innovative and, so far, successful campaign.
You can read more about it at Learning First’s post, Parents, Educators and Communities Working Together To Make a Commitment to Children.
the Family is a good article form Teaching Tolerance about teachers making home visits.
Here’s an excerpt:
The social, emotional and academic benefits of home visits are well documented and widely acknowledged. But although the number of teachers doing home visits across the country is steadily growing, the consistency with which these visits are conducted varies greatly, a fact that limits the scope of their impact. More administrators, however, are taking note of the importance of home visits and grappling with the scalability challenge: How can a school or district launch and maintain a successful home-visit program that benefits all students?
I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Teacher Home Visits.
Nation’s Wealthy Places Pour Private Money Into Public Schools, Study Finds is the headline of a New York Times article on parent fundraising for schools.
Here’s an excerpt:
The inequities in local philanthropic fund-raising, which is unregulated and tax-deductible for donors, mirror the growth in wealth among the richest 1 percent over all, said Rob Reich, an associate professor of political philosophy at Stanford University. The energy that parents expend raising money for their own children’s school, he said, “comes at the potential expense of their political engagement on a broader basis to actually get public dollars to be enough for all kids.”
I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Parent Fundraising & Equity Issues.
How parents can maximize their time with the teacher is a short and simple article from the Las Vegas Sun.
It offers some decent advice.
I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Parent/Teacher Conferences.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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….
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.