“Florida PTA Urges State to Make Changes to School Accountability System”

Florida PTA Urges State to Make Changes to School Accountability System is the headline of an Ed Week post.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Florida PTA issued a press release this week asking lawmakers and state Department of Education officials for the following:

Proper field-testing and test development in areas that mirror Florida’s diverse demographics;
A suspension of school letter grades until performance data is more reliable;
Additional testing and more flexible student performance calculations for students with disabilities and English-language learners; and
Use of multiple years of a new exam as the baseline for generating school grades and teacher evaluations.

Print Friendly

“Duncan Urges PTA to Promote Education Issues in 2016 Presidential Election”

Duncan Urges PTA to Promote Education Issues in 2016 Presidential Election is the headline of a blog post this past week at Education Week.

It discusses one of the stops on U.S. Education Secretary Duncan’s annual bus tour at schools.

Here’s an excerpt:

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on the National PTA Wednesday morning to make education a major campaign issue for the 2016 presidential election.

“I challenge you: In 2016, could we have a presidential debate around education?” Duncan asked a crowd of about 100 parents and teachers at the Oliver Middle School here. “Can the PTA force that debate?”

I’ve got to say that I’m not holding my breath. The PTA has a lot of potential power, but not anywhere near enough to force much of anything, and their political expertise is suspect, as was demonstrated in the last elections here in California.

But if they really did decide to become a serious player, I can think of far better things for them to do with their power than putting on a presidential debate….

I do hope, though, that they decide to eventually focus their efforts into community organizing….

Print Friendly

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

Fla. School Board Candidate: Allow Some Parents With Criminal Pasts to Volunteer is the title of a blog post over at Ed Week.

Here’s how it begins:

A candidate vying for a seat on the Pinellas County School Board in Largo, Fla., this November wants principals to have more control over how the district’s policy that bars most parents with criminal records from volunteering at schools is implemented.

Beverley Billiris, a former local elementary school teacher, believes the district should allow school principals to consider permitting parents who have “turned their lives around” after committing nonviolent or nonsexual crimes to volunteer.

It certainly makes sense to me!

You might also be interested in one of my previous posts: Charlotte Schools Say Undocumented Parents Can’t Volunteer In Schools — For Now, At Least.

Print Friendly

Parent Revolution Throws A Fit

I’ve written many posts about the destructive impact the organization Parent Revolution can have on schools, teachers, students and their families.

Their march of destruction continues as they are now threatening to sue the Los Angeles school district if they don’t allow the use of the “parent trigger” (see One Good Thing Comes Out Of Ill-Conceived CA District NCLB Waiver: LAUSD Not Subject To Parent Trigger).

To their credit, Parent Revolution has tempered their methods slightly from what they were doing originally. The main reason, though, why their work hasn’t been so damaging lately is because more and more people are seeing through their rhetoric, and few families want to have anything to do with them anymore.

If they really wanted to help families, though, their best move would be dissolution.

Print Friendly

Newark District Continues To Be Model For How NOT To Treat Parents

I’ve written so much about the ongoing disaster in Newark for parents and their children.

Here’s the latest — a post from Bob Braun titled Cami’s Newark enrollment plan collapses in the heat, with these being the first two paragraphs:

The implementation of the deeply flawed “One Newark” student-dispersal program all but collapsed Thursday as the state administration’s highly paid bureaucrats kept hundreds of angry and frustrated parents and children waiting in un-airconditioned school rooms or outside in 90+ heat to register their children for the few remaining public school seats. Just hours into the chaos, Newark school officials locked the doors to Newark Vocational and told the men, women, and children waiting outside to come back at 5 a.m. the next morning.

The people in line outside shouted angrily at the bureaucrats and demanded a “number”–as shoppers do at meat markets–and the chance to get inside so they could plan for their children’s education. Many said they could not return the next day because they had taken the day off from working and couldn’t take another day.

Print Friendly

“I Want Parents To Know This…”

It’s that time of year when you start seeing posts and articles about what teachers want parents to know.

I Want Parents to Know This… is a particularly good one by Matt Gomez (thanks to Sheila Stewart for the tip.

You might also be interested in these other ones in the “genre”:

My Advice To Parents In “USA Weekend” is something I wrote last summer.

5 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew: Your Children Can Do More Than You Think is a good piece by Jessice Lahey in The New York Times.

10 things teachers wish parents knew before the school year begins is from The Today Show.

If you want to see a terrible example of this kind of list, check out one of my previous posts, Jeez, What Was Ron Clark Thinking?

Print Friendly

“Oklahoma PTA Unanimously Calls for End to High-Stakes Testing”

Oklahoma PTA Unanimously Calls for End to High-Stakes Testing is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Over 340 delegates at the Oklahoma PTA’s annual convention voted unanimously to adopt resolutions that call for a ban on policies that force the state’s public schools to rely on high-stakes testing and put an end to mass administration of field tests.

Wow! Wouldn’t it be nice if other state PTA’s viewed this as a model?

Print Friendly

“Federal Data-Privacy Guidelines Urge Better Communication With Parents”

Federal Data-Privacy Guidelines Urge Better Communication With Parents is a new post over at Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:

The tug-of-war over student data privacy continues.

Friday, the U.S. Department of Education released new, non-binding guidance containing suggestions for schools and districts to better inform parents about how their children’s sensitive educational data is being used.

Some privacy advocates, however, were less than enthusiastic.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts On The inBloom Data Fiasco.

Print Friendly

“Clinton launches Talk, Read, Sing campaign”

Ed Source reports on a recent visit by Hillary Clinton to Oakland:

Hillary Clinton spoke to a friendly crowd at Oakland’s UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital on Wednesday about her new campaign (no, not that one) to get parents to spend more time talking, singing and reading to their young children.

“Brain research is showing us how important the first years of life are,” Clinton said, “and how much a simple activity can help build brains.”

Oakland will be the second city – the first was Tulsa, Oklahoma – to receive a concentrated dose of messaging about the importance of verbally engaging infants and toddlers. As part of the “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” campaign, residents can expect a multimedia campaign featuring television commercials, a radio spot, billboards and bus station ads. Local retailer Oaklandish will also be launching a new clothing line for babies that includes onesies that read, “Let’s talk about hands and feet,” and baby blankets proclaiming, “Let’s talk about bedtime.” For every item purchased, Oaklandish will donate one item to a family in need.

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Word Gap.”

Print Friendly

“Want More Kids to Graduate? Report Suggests Starting with Mom and Dad”

Want More Kids to Graduate? Report Suggests Starting with Mom and Dad is the headline of a post over at Education Week.

Here are a some excerpts:

A new report released today by the Foundation for Child Development and CLASP, a Washington think tank, finds that although parents’ education has a huge effect on their children’s future health and educational attainment, there are very few programs focused on improving education for the entire family….

The report called for policymakers and education officials to look for ways to develop more-holistic “dual generation” anti-poverty programs to educate parents and children at the same time.

Print Friendly

“Engaging Immigrant Parents with Improved Systems of Interpretation & Translation”

Engaging Immigrant Parents with Improved Systems of Interpretation & Translation is a useful short explanation of how and why one school district makes it a priority to offer several different types of translation services available.

The article includes research references and links for more details on how the system operates.

Thanks to Edublogs for the tip!

Print Friendly