New York Teachers Union Doesn’t Wait For District To Promote Parent Engagement

The New York City school district has had a very troubled recent history of not encouraging parent engagement.

One example of those troubles is their talking for three years about starting a parent academy.

The teachers union decided to take things in their own hands, though, and have just begun their own parent academy. Here’s an excerpt from an article today describing its first session:

…. with workshop titles such as “Parent as Leader,” and “Parent as Lobbyist,” the academy’s main purpose is to motivate parents to advocate on behalf of their children and schools, and demand education policy changes.

About fifty parents—ten from each borough—packed a third-floor conference room at union headquarters for the new academy’s inaugural meeting on Saturday morning….

The morning’s activities were designed to prompt parents to think about and articulate positive qualities of their schools, as well as issues to complain about, from teacher turnover to confusing test policies.

Some of the parents said they signed up for the five week long workshop series because they wanted to fell more included in school- and district-level policy discussions that currently feel out of reach. Others said they also wanted knowledge of how to empower their children to do the same.

One thought on “New York Teachers Union Doesn’t Wait For District To Promote Parent Engagement

  1. It very important that parents become advocate for their children. These are my seven steps for Parent Engagement:

    Examples of Seven Steps of Engagement

    Seven examples that include voices from parents and community organizers are as follows:

    Step 1- Parent’s Access to School Information and Data Collection Parents need to have access to timely and accurate information regarding their child’s education in order to best support their children’s academic success.

    Steps 2- Parents in Decision-Making Roles
    Parents provide leadership in schools by being at the table with teachers and administrators.

    Steps 3- Parents as Student Advocates
    Parents need to know how to navigate and negotiate the school system. We need to support the creation of an environment where parents have access to information and support systems to be effective advocates by monitoring and directing the education of our children.

    Steps 4- Parent Leaders at Home and in the School-Community
    Parents need opportunities to build leadership and advocacy skills to enhance student-parent-community partnerships. Schools will serve the family and community needs for health and social service, which include providing resources and information for accessing those services.

    Steps 5- Effective Two–Way Communication
    Communication must be translated in languages that parents speak in their home. Plus communication between home and school should be frequent, go both ways, and be meaningful.

    Steps 6- District Level Support
    Structures are provided to build parent capacity that well defined, include meaningful participation and dialogue that empowers parents for action and movements towards critical components of educational reform.

    Steps 7- Friendly School Atmosphere
    Schools should build an atmosphere that welcomes all parents and builds positive relationships.

    Mary Johnson, President

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