Sunday, May 3, 2009

Local education group seeks accountability from parents

From yesterday's PG:

The "Parental Accountability Initiative in Public Education" would mandate parental involvement in public education, including "participating in conferences about their child, ensuring the child has completed assignments, and helping children develop study skills at home."


Annette Werner said...

Here's a related article on this type of "bottom up" school reform:

It describess "the case of Central Elementary School in Nampa, Idaho. Despite having 85% of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch, 20% who speak languages other than English at home, and a highly mobile student population with half of the students attending other schools the year before, the school saw a 25% increase in the number of students reading at or above grade level in 2007-08. How did they do that? According to their Principal Cindy Thomas, the key factor responsible for the turn-around was having everybody in the school, as well as members of the wider community, pitch in to help the kids. Costco employees volunteered to read to children on a regular basis, as did Nampa First Church Of The Nazarene members, retired educators, school resource officers from the Nampa Police Department, and various community leaders. Even the custodian, Dorene Shelton, spent her 15-minute breaks reading with children. And the extra time and effort clearly paid off."

This is an approach I have been advocating for almost four years now, ever since the public hearing the first time closing Schenley was proposed in 2005.

Kathy Fine said...

I have been advocating this approach for 15 years now since I organized a "Readathon" at East Hills with other involved parents. We used the reading challenge to identify kids that were not getting read to at home and providing them with one on one time with a volunteer. (not trying to one up you, Annette, just pointing out that this common sense approach has been around and we can't seem to get it through to any administration!)

Annette Werner said...

Kathy, and the new parent accountability group, are to be commended for having gone ahead and taken action.

Issues at the high school level are complex and would probably require a more comprehensive mentoring-type approach. Support from the administration would make a big difference.

anon said...

I remember hearing of the Readathon Kathy mentions. Is there really time available for kids to be read to anymore during school hours? It seems like almost every minute is scheduled and there does not seem to be time to be creative in the classroom for teachers. Some of the fun and educational things my daughter did just a few years ago have been cut out and replaced with lessons easily identified to meet the standards. In the past the lesson met a standard and, more than one in some cases, and lessons built toward complete understanding.