“Spanish Speakers Request Interpreters for Special Education Meetings”

Spanish Speakers Request Interpreters for Special Education Meetings us the headline of a blog post over at Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:

A group of Spanish-speaking parents in Ohio filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department this week, saying that their children’s school districts are discriminating against them by not providing interpreters and translated documents during special education meetings.

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Scary Example Of Parent DISengagement: “States weigh turning education funds over to parents”

States weigh turning education funds over to parents is a Politico article about some very scary efforts to create something called Education Savings Accounts.

Here’s how the article begins:

A radical new concept in school choice will come up for vote in at least a half-dozen states from Virginia to Oklahoma in the coming months, as lawmakers consider giving hundreds of thousands of parents the freedom to design a custom education for their children — at taxpayer expense.

Twenty-one states already subsidize tuition at private schools through vouchers or tax credits. The new programs promise far more flexibility, but critics fear they could also lead to waste or abuse as taxpayers underwrite do-it-yourself educations with few quality controls.

Called Education Savings Accounts, the programs work like this: The state deposits the funds it would have spent educating a given child in public schools into a bank account controlled by his parents. The parents can use those funds — the amount ranges from $5,000 to more than $30,000 a year — to pay for personal tutors, homeschooling workbooks, online classes, sports team fees and many types of therapy, including horseback riding lessons for children with disabilities. They can also spend the money on private school tuition or save some of it for college.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten provides the perfect response to this dangerous program:

ESAs create “an unregulated, unaccountable market,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “Instead of the exit strategy from public education that these programs represent, we need a renewed commitment to strong neighborhood public schools for every child.”

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“Connecting Parents With Common Core Through Remind & Twitter”

Connecting Parents With Common Core Through Remind & Twitter is a useful post at Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:

How often does this conversation happen for parents? “How was school today, what did you do?” We all know the response – “nothing, not sure, can’t remember, don’t know” etc.

At John Swett Elementary (@jseroadrunners), we’ve torn down the classroom walls and are connecting parents with school life and Common Core implementation on a daily, even hourly basis! Remind and Twitter have profoundly changed our communication flow from what’s happening in the classroom to directly connecting with parents, via their phone.

I’m adding it to A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Using Technology To Help Engage Parents.

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Three Useful Parent Engagement Videos

Here are three parent engagement-related videos from The Annenberg Institute:

This next video is a trailer for Vision To Victory, described this way:

Through the voices and stories of parents, youth, teachers, organizers, and advocates, Vision to Victory: An Education Roadmap for a New Mayor tells the story of how New York City parents, youth, teachers, and community members joined together to make the 2013 mayoral race an education election, pushing all the mayoral candidates to make the community’s education priorities their own.


You might also be interested in The Best Videos On Parent Engagement.

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Excellent Analysis Of Genuine Parent Engagement From National Ed Policy Center

In December, I wrote a post critical of an American Enterprise Institute report on parent “organizing” (see New Report: “Organizing Parents for Education Reform”).

The National Education Policy Center has issued a much more thorough critique and analysis of the report, and it’s well worth reading.

You might also be interested in The Best Examples Of Parent Engagement Through Community Organizing.

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Important Study: “Money, Not Marital Status, Has the Most Impact on How Parents Raise Kids”

Money, Not Marital Status, Has the Most Impact on How Parents Raise Kids is an article in Slate about a very important study.

Here’s how it begins:

Despite all the attention paid to marital status when it comes to raising kids, a new report from the Council on Contemporary Families finds that, in reality, financial status actually matters more.

I’m adding it to The Best Articles Questioning The View That Single Parents Are A Problem.

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State Of California Rules That Public Schools Can’t Require Parents To Volunteer

I’ve previously posted about the ridiculous rules many charter schools in California have requiring parents to volunteer if they want their children to attend (see L.A. Times Editorial Headline: “Charter schools’ volunteer demands may discourage needy students”).

The State of California has now officially declared that schools can’t have those kinds of requirements.

You can read more about it in The San Francisco Chronicle article headlined Schools: Ask, don’t tell when it comes to parent time and cash.

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“Community Schools Advocates Push for ‘Whole Child’ Focus in ESEA Update”

Community Schools Advocates Push for ‘Whole Child’ Focus in ESEA Update is a post from Education Week.

Here’s how it begins:

The Coalition for Community Schools has joined the ranks of stakeholders offering members of Congress their laundry list of dos and don’ts for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind law.

On Monday morning, the coalition sent a letter to Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chairman and ranking member of the Senate education committee, to emphasize the important role school-community partnerships should play in the overhaul of the federal education law.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Community Schools.

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From Edutopia: “5 App and Mobile Use Guides for Parents”

Edutopia has just published 5 App and Mobile Use Guides for Parents.

Their post includes:

A Guide for Using Apps During Family Time (Grades K-5)

Apps to Share With the Children in Your Life (Grades K-5)

Recommendations for Fun, Engaging Family Apps (All Ages)

A Smartphone Guide for Parents of Tweens and Teens (Grades 6-12)

A Parent’s Guide to Phone Safety (All Ages)

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“Concerns about parenting in poorer families ‘misplaced'”

Concerns about parenting in poorer families ‘misplaced’ is the headline of an article in The Telegraph.

Here’s an excerpt:

Common perceptions that poorer mothers and fathers are likely to be less involved in their children’s lives are unfounded, according to research.

A new study argues that less well-off parents are just as likely to help with homework, play games and read with their children as those from wealthier backgrounds.

I’m adding it to “The Best Research Available On Parent Engagement.”

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Webinar On Parent Engagement This Wednesday

Joe Mazza, a very well-respected national leader on parent engagement, is leading a free Webinar on Engaging Families Using High & Low Tech Strategies this Wednesday.

You couldn’t find a person with greater knowledge about the topic and energy to impart it!

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Cupcake Ban Picks An Unnecessary Fight With Parents

I’m no fan of junk food but, as I’ve previously posted, banning parents from making baked goods for bake sales or to give to an entire class is, in my humble opinion, not a good use of a school’s “relationship capital.”

Texas’ agricultural commissioner just proclaimed a “cupcake amnesty” eliminating any local schools’ restrictions.

I’m not convinced that it’s an important enough issue that the state needs to make or repeal related rules, but schools just need to be more careful about picking their battles.

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Another Good Critique Of The “Broken Compass” Book On Parent Involvement

Jay P. Green, with whom I often disagree (but not this time!), has written an excellent review of the infamous “Broken Compass” book on parent involvement titled Wrong Diagnosis on Homework Help from Parents: Authors find correlation, mistake it for causation.

Here’s how he ends it:

After examining more than 300 pages of The Broken Compass with its dozens of regressions and charts, I know no more about the causal relationship between parental involvement and academic progress than I did before. If the purpose of The Broken Compass were simply to raise questions about this inverse correlation, it might be a fine book. But when the authors and unthinking reporters use it to recommend that parents stop helping kids with homework, they are being irresponsible, no less so than advising sick people to avoid hospitals because they tend to kill you.

I’m adding it to The Best Commentaries On The “Broken Compass” Parent Involvement Book.

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