At a new school started by parents, uncertainty about how to include them is the headline of an article over at Chalkbeat that is one of the more interesting pieces on parent engagement I’ve read in awhile.
Here’s an introductory excerpt:
Over the course of nearly a decade, the parents recruited local clergy and elected officials to join a coalition, met with Department of Education officials, and found a space for the school. As the planning process moved into the construction stage, parents continued to advocate for their vision of the school, raising money to outfit the newly constructed building with a green roof where students can garden as part of their classes.
The Highbridge Green School opened in September with 142 sixth-graders, including Gonzalez’s younger son Allan.
Now, midway through the school’s first year, parents and educators are grappling with what parent involvement will look like going forward. How much say should parents have in the school’s daily operations and long-term vision, now that teachers and administrators have been hired to run the show?
The article, written by Emma Sokoloff-Rubin, only gets more interesting from there…
I also want to share what I think is a particularly striking paragraph, which is another way of looking at the parent involvement/parent engagement comparison I write about a lot:
“With Bloomberg and the various chancellors he had, parents were really kind of an afterthought,” said Pedro Noguera, an education professor at New York University. He said the Bloomberg administration treated parents as “consumers” who deserved information but could leave a school if they didn’t like it, rather than as “partners” who were also invested in their school’s success.
I’d strongly recommend you read the entire article….