Detroit School Tells Parents To Come To Meeting On State Testing Or Their Child Will Be Suspended

Detroit Parents Missed a School Meeting But Their 3rd Grader Is the One Who Might Be Punished For It is the headline of this news article (and video).

Here’s how it begins:

Parents of third graders at Coleman A. Young Elementary School in Michigan were recently asked to attend a mandatory parent meeting — during the workday — which addressed the importance of state testing.

Twenty-four parents were able to attend, but the children of parents who didn’t were threatened with suspension if their parents did not show up at a make-up meeting scheduled the following week.

This incident is the newest addition to The Worst Parent Engagement Ideas.

“To build better relationships, Bentley School teachers visit their students at home”

To build better relationships, Bentley School teachers visit their students at home is a nice article in a local newspaper that I believe, but am not sure, in Massachusetts.

Here’s how it begins:

A key piece of turnaround efforts at the Bentley School is a yearly home visit to parents or guardians by a student’s teachers. The initiative isn’t just aimed at struggling pupils or troublemakers — the goal is to build strong, positive relationships with each of the school’s families.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning About Teacher Home Visits.

District Superintendent Visits Parents During Their Break From Work In Fields

Sunnyside school officials engaging parents of local students in the fields is an article about a rural Washington Superintendent visiting parents during their break from working in the fields:

In what observers called a historic moment, Sunnyside Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole visited with a group of parents at their north Outlook work site Thursday morning.

#Cole’s meeting with the parents during a mid-morning break from pruning apple trees is the first in a series of outreach efforts to increase parental involvement.

As long as it, indeed, was not just a one-time photo op, then this seems like an excellent parent involvement strategy.

“Some parents across the country are revolting against standardized testing”

The Washington Post has published an article headlined Some parents across the country are revolting against standardized testing.

Here’s how it begins:

A growing number of parents are refusing to let their children take standardized tests this year, arguing that civil disobedience is the best way to change what they say is a destructive overemphasis on tests in the nation’s public schools.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Parents “Opting-Out” Of Standardized Tests For Their Children.

“Bridges To High School” Is A Family-Focused Program That May Have Potential

Bridges To High School is a family-focused program designed to support middle-school students who are experiencing challenges in school.

You can read more about it here and here.

It seems like it might have some potential, and the federal government is seems to be looking at it for potential nationwide expansion.

Anyone have experience with it that they’d like to share?

“Teacher: Why expanding ‘parental rights’ in public education sounds good — but isn’t”

Teacher: Why expanding ‘parental rights’ in public education sounds good — but isn’t appeared in The Washington Post, and offers an interesting take on the opt-out movement.

I think the piece exaggerates some of the dangers, and I still support the opt-out movement, but we do need to be careful of our rhetoric.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

If we rally mainstream America around parental rights as a cause, and advocate boycotts of the PARCC tests, I fear we are legitimizing the efforts of special interest groups who want to cherry-pick their way through the public education system. Will parents next be able to select which parts of science, or history, their children are allowed to learn? And will they then be able to opt out of sections of college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT?

As we follow this slippery slope, some may try to opt out of having their children in class with gay students or teachers because of religious beliefs.

“As Common Core Testing Is Ushered In, Parents and Students Opt Out”

As Common Core Testing Is Ushered In, Parents and Students Opt Out
is an article in The New York Times.

Here’s an excerpt:

A new wave of standardized exams, designed to assess whether students are learning in step with the Common Core standards, is sweeping the country, arriving in classrooms and entering the cross hairs of various political movements. In New Jersey and elsewhere, the arrival has been marked with well-organized opposition, a spate of television attack ads and a cascade of parental anxiety.

Almost every state has an “opt out” movement. While its true size is hard to gauge, the protests on Facebook, at school board meetings and in more creative venues — including screenings of anti-testing documentaries — have caught the attention of education officials.

I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Parents “Opting-Out” Of Standardized Tests For Their Children.

Another Parent Trigger Effort Fails In California

Last week, another attempt at using the “parent trigger” to take over a public school failed.

Here are some articles on the effort:

Anaheim parents fail to convert struggling school to charter is from The LA Times.

Anaheim school board rejects parent petition to turn Palm Lane Elementary into a charter is from The Orange County Register.

Local Board Rejects ‘Parent Trigger’ Petition at California School is from Ed Week.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning Why The Parent Trigger Isn’t Good For Parents, Kids Or Schools.

“Parents Support Later Start Times for High School”

Parents Support Later Start Times for High School is the headline of an article at Scientific American that schools might want to take note of…

Here’s how it begins:

A new, national survey released by the University of Michigan has found that 50 percent of parents who have teenage children would support later start times for high school. That number might not impress you. But it is much higher than even a few years ago, when many parents felt that such a change would cause practical problems. A steady drumbeat of studies showing that teens who start school later are healthier, safer and smarter is having a real affect on public opinion. As a result, more and more school districts across the U.S. are beginning the day later or are considering doing so.

“Students take the lead in parent conferences”

Students take the lead in parent conferences is the headline of an article in the Alaska Star.

Here’s how it begins:

Gone is the long wait outside the classroom for middle school students while their parents or guardians talk with teachers during parent conferences. Instead, the Anchorage School District is moving to a student-led model.

It’s the student’s job to select which completed assignments represent his or her best and worst work. It’s up to the student to come up with improvement goals, and give an assessment of academic performance.

You might also be interested in other articles on the same topic, which can be found at The Best Resources On Parent/Teacher Conferences.

Yes, Schools Should Help Students Who Are Obese &, No, Their Parents Should Not Get Fined

Puerto Rico has announced a plan to have schools help students who are obese to lose weight and become more healthy. Much of it sounds good.

However, I don’t think fining parents whose children don’t respond positively to the program is a “bridge too far.” I don’t

You can read more about the program at:

Puerto Rico’s controversial proposal would fine the parents of obese children is from The Washington Post.

Could fining parents cut childhood obesity? is from The BBC. Here’s an excerpt from the BBC article:

Hill dislikes the Puerto Rican proposal. “We need to move the argument away from saying it’s all about individual responsibility and ‘it’s you to blame’. People do have some responsibility but we must recognise the power of environment and how difficult it is to change for the rest of your life.”

Philadelphia – the most overweight of America’s major cities – has cut the obesity rate among children. The city authority has persuaded shops to stock more fruit and vegetables in areas once described as “food deserts” because of a lack of nutritious offerings. It has also banned full-fat milk from school canteens, as well as deep-fat frying, while sugary drinks have disappeared from vending machines.

“None of these efforts involved stigmatising or penalising parents,” says Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Connecticut-based Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “In contrast, these changes exemplify ways to support and empower parents to make it easier to improve the health of their children.”

Puhl argues that a more integrated approach. involving schools encouraging better eating and more exercise, is needed.

“AFT teacher brings community schools message to Congress”

AFT teacher brings community schools message to Congress is a post at the American Federation of Teachers site.

Here’s how it begins:

Stressing that the majority of kids in American public schools now live in poverty, a Baltimore teacher and AFT member urged Congress on Feb. 5 to battle that challenge through a redesigned Elementary and Secondary Education Act—one that helps schools and students overcome poverty’s deepest obstacles by supporting proven strategies like community schools.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Community Schools.

Scary Example Of Parent DISengagement: “States weigh turning education funds over to parents”

States weigh turning education funds over to parents is a Politico article about some very scary efforts to create something called Education Savings Accounts.

Here’s how the article begins:

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.”

Important Study: “Money, Not Marital Status, Has the Most Impact on How Parents Raise Kids”

Money, Not Marital Status, Has the Most Impact on How Parents Raise Kids is an article in Slate about a very important study.

Here’s how it begins:

Despite all the attention paid to marital status when it comes to raising kids, a new report from the Council on Contemporary Families finds that, in reality, financial status actually matters more.

I’m adding it to The Best Articles Questioning The View That Single Parents Are A Problem.

State Of California Rules That Public Schools Can’t Require Parents To Volunteer

I’ve previously posted about the ridiculous rules many charter schools in California have requiring parents to volunteer if they want their children to attend (see L.A. Times Editorial Headline: “Charter schools’ volunteer demands may discourage needy students”).

The State of California has now officially declared that schools can’t have those kinds of requirements.

You can read more about it in The San Francisco Chronicle article headlined Schools: Ask, don’t tell when it comes to parent time and cash.