Podcast On Community Engagment

The curriculum support group ASCD has a new podcast titled Beyond our halls and walls: Getting to community engagement that’s publicly available.

Here’s how they describe it:

The May episode of the Whole Child Podcast is all about involving members of the community in our schools. Listen in as Brookings Institution’s Hugh Price, district superintendent Dave LaRose and professional-development director Deborah Wortham discuss the value and fundamentals of developing and sustaining community engagement programs.

One thought on “Podcast On Community Engagment

  1. Working to help increase community involvement is an important facet of our educational process. Parents need to be invited to participate in their children’s education and need to feel that their voice matters. The sad truth is that this rarely happens in more than a superficial way and most schools really don’t want any parent input about anything substantive.
    The other sad truth is that all the community involvement in the world is not going to change or increase student achievement. It will merely make everyone feel better about increased involvement. In fact, increasing community involvement will only increase the level of community frustration as they get a better picture of how dysfunctional our education system really is. If we are truly concerned about increasing student achievement, which should be our major goal, then we have to stop talking about distractions like increasing community involvement, and begin to focus on what is happening in the classroom. This means focusing on wide spread implementation of effective teaching practices – teaching them in pre-service and comprehensive PD, requiring them to be used and monitoring their use, developing teacher evaluation policies that can effect change, and empowering school administrators to provide meaningful leadership. When superintendents are better friends with their union presidents than they are with their principals, teachers are emboldened to defy any suggestion for improvement because they know they are protected by a contract that accepts and encourages mediocrity. Instead of developing opportunities that might make a difference in the quality of life in our schools, lets focus on something that will really matters – effecting change in the classroom. If community involvement was the answer to improving our schools we would all be doing it. Teachers and principals know that is nice when it happens but it has nothing to do with school improvement and in many places like urban schools, it is almost not worth it all. There is no correlation to the amount of effort that goes in to developing and publicizing programs, and the amount of parent involvement. What we really need is to get to the point that we all understand that we need to effect substantive change in our schools without any community involvement or in spite of the lack of any community involvement because it is not going to happen. ie the lack of community involvement cannot be an excuse. It is not productive to put our efforts in to things that we cannot control – we can’t make parents be engaged with our schools. Instead, we need to only focus on things we can control and that have the best chance of effecting real change – increasing and demanding teacher effectiveness.

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