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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.”
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.