Monday, February 28, 2011

Letter to the editor/ parental involvement

From the PG (last letter):


Anonymous said...

The commentary stressed the inability of some students to thrive academically because they are "trapped in chronically failing schools."

In the alternative, if schools are "chronically failing" It cannot be laid at the feet of parents.

The school can be the only place where students find structure, support, a model for a better life, an opportunity for success, a chance to develop educationally, socially, psychologically, cognitively, etc. The school can be, if it chooses, the salvation for those young people without other options or opportunities. When the school sees itself as this option or opportunity it becomes that oasis for the young.

Let the debate begin.
Read more:

Questioner said...

One way to meld these ideas is for schools to promote positive involvement by parents.

Anonymous said...

First anonymous: why do you think some schools are "chronically failing"? Maybe give a top five list of the most likely causes of that "failure."

My experience has been that some "chronically failing" schools have wretched administration and burned out teachers. However, I have also seen schools with the same label with highly motivated teachers, innovative programs and supportive administrations. Those schools do better than other "failing" schools -- but not good enough to get their own names off of lists of bad schools.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that schools do make significant efforts to do just that since it makes their job much easier; however, it CANNOT be the excuse for "chronically failing schools."

aparent said...

The missing action in the great debate of parent involvement is often not addressed. That action is somebody having the conversation that begins with explaining the parents can't be saved by the school and its teachers and staff. It continues with an authority vowing to educate a student despite the lack of parental involvement. That will work for the kids willing to accept the education offered.

Those of us who, five years ago, might have stood up to say, "If you want Jimmy to do better, help his parent get a job and the supports to keep it," are now realizing there could be too many Jimmys.

Questioner, I have seen buildings where everything that could have been offered to increase involvement was done. Trainings for parents on providing homework support. Food. Continual messages and flyers going home. Building websites with useful links to help a parent help his kid at home. How do some buildings make it work?

Questioner said...

Starting with families and parents when children are newborns, with a fresh slate before them, could be one approach. It must be communicated to parents that while schools vow to educate students despite the lack of parental involvement, the great majority of schools have not found a way to be just as successful as they would be if parents were involved. Another step might be investigating why the methods described are not working to convince parents to be more involved.

Anonymous said...

One thing parent(s) feel unwelcome.
PPS got to improve their attitude about parent(s) that they are key player in the PPS school dist.
one way for PPS is to reach out is to start a Parent Involvement Program if not already have one
1volunteer in class room(s)
2chaperone on field trip(s)
3open house
4parent safety committee
5parent outreach hotline
among other things that's a start to help parent(s) feel important

Anonymous said...

The biggest parent complaint I have heard is a kind of "take it or leave it" attitude when issues come up. Not from teachers or staff working with the kids but from managers. So, parents "check out."

Anonymous said...

The SOLUTIONS to problems never lie in placing BLAME on OTHERS.

Blame is the search for explanations that implicate others. No problem was ever solved by that method.

The solutions lie within each of us, individually, personally, and collectively to take action(s), that only we (each of us) can take, to solve a problem.

Questioner said...

While everyone should think about what he or she can do individually to remedy an unsatisfactory situation- there is nothing wrong with also considering what other parties might do differently or better as well. For example, as parents and community members we can work with schools and parents to identify the causes of an unsatisfactory educational outcome and remedy the problem. In fact, as parents we might have insights into what a school can do that the school might not itself recognize; or a school might have insights into what a parent can do that the parent might not recognize. The focus is not on blaming, it's on problem solving.

Anonymous said...

Problems can be solved if an administration is responsive to the action taken by others. Unfortunately, the recently departed administrator was not that type of leader. Let's hope for better.

Disgruntled said...

Where do you see blaming others in this thread anonymous?

Asking for a list of causes -- that is, of problems that need to be solved, is not a call to blame.

Noting ways parents could be made more welcome or involved doesn't look for blame.

I think you're attacking a straw man.