The National Education Association has launched a $6 Priority Schools Campaign which includes a strong focus on parent engagement.
You can read more about it at Ed Week’s article, NEA’s Brand of School Improvement. Here’s an excerpt:
Q. The scope of these federal grants is three years, but you’ll be reporting back to the Representative Assembly next year about progress. I know you don’t want to just look at academic progress, although that’s an important indicator. Can you give us an example of what benchmarks might look like for the other areas: for instance, parental involvement and community engagement?
A. Simmons: How many parents and community members do we have on the school councils, school improvement teams, site-based teams? This is where the rubber hits the road. What’s the budget allocations for these schools? What’s the hiring practice? How will the programs actually be implemented? And above all, the authority and accountability issues come into place. Also, we’ll be looking to see how engaged parents are in their children’s education. This can be the increased number of parents at PTA, but it’s also about the real involvement of parents not just coming to the conference but actually being a part of the school, actually coming in and working in the classroom, volunteering in the school, learning how to be a better advocate for the student. The advocacy piece goes all the way to the school board.