Embracing parents as education leaders

28 Nov

Moi wrote about the importance of parental involvement in Missouri program: Parent home visits:

One of the mantras of this blog is that education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be involved.  Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well. A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Class Matters

Teachers and administrators as well as many politicians if they are honest know that children arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Teachers have to teach children at whatever point on the continuum the children are. Jay Matthews reports in the Washington Post article, Try parent visits, not parent takeovers of schools. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/try-parent-visits-not-parent-takeovers-of-schools/2012/05/30/gJQAlDDz2U_story.html

The key ingredient is parental involvement. The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (Council) has a great policy brief on parental involvement.http://www.wccf.org/pdf/parentsaspartners_ece-series.pd

https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/missouri-program-parent-home-visits/

Julia Lawrence of Education News reports in the article, Kentucky Venture Aims to Train Parents to Become Ed Leaders:

When the Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership opens its doors in Kentucky, it will do so with the goal of getting parents more involved in their children’s academic lives. The Institute’s mission will be to empower parents to take a more active role in determining the future direction of their local education system, which includes greater participation in parent-teacher groups, local school boards and school councils.

Kentucky residents who wish to get involved will have an opportunity to enroll in a 24-month mentoring program offered by the Institute, which will introduce them to the ins and outs of the state’s academic system. Institute leaders say that parents will graduate from the course having learned “the business of education,” leaving them more able to understand the problems confronting state schools today.

Their attempts at involvement will no longer be thwarted by unfamiliar jargon and impenetrable quantitative reports. The goal at graduation will be to have parents not only fully cognizant of the current issues facing K-12 education in the state but also ready to provide solutions for those issues as well….

The CIPL will be building on top of the work done by the existing Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, which has been working for more than 15 years on ways to keep parents in the loop on education. Over 1,600 Kentucky parents have gone through the programs offered by the CIPL, with many going on to take leadership positions in their schools, districts and even at state level. According to KYForward.com, CIPL boasts recruiting two people who have served on the Kentucky Board of Education.

Furthermore, as CIPL expanded its reach, it created a self-perpetuating network among the state’s parents. Those who go through CIPL later go on to recruit and mentor up to 20 other parents each – all in service of giving parents a greater voice in their children’s education…..

In the end, the aim of the Institute is to convince parents that with the right preparation they can have a real, positive impact on student achievement statewide.  http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/kys-new-venture-aims-to-train-parents-to-become-ed-leaders/

Here is the press release:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Leadership institute encourages parents to get more involved to boost student success

An new initiative to engage and educate parents to be strong and effective leaders in Kentucky schools was recently announced. The Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (GCIPL) will be an independent nonprofit organization, building on the 16-year record of the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, developed by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

The Institute’s mission is preparing parents to take leadership roles in parent-teacher organizations, school councils and committees, local school boards and in other roles that can positively influence student achievement.

We know how important it is to invest in education for the future of Kentucky, and we can’t overlook parents as a critical resource,” said Gov. Steve Beshear said. “Engaging families in improving schools has benefits that extend far beyond the students whose parents participate in the training. We have parents in our communities who want to help our schools and our students achieve excellence. The Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership will help them do that.”

The Insitute teaches and mentors parents over a 24-month period to understand what Institute leaders call “the business of education” – such as how to read aggregated test scores to understand trends, then recommend steps to help struggling students based on that data. The Institute unlocks educational jargon and technical language so that teachers, administrators and parents can speak with a common understanding of tools and goals.

Parents will also learn to understand how a school’s budget works and how to maximize resources. The goal is to train parents specifically in partnering with educators and administrators to enhance student achievement. Institute administrators estimate that every CIPL graduate mentors another 20 parents, which exponentially enhances the program’s impact on Kentucky students.

The existing Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL), which has garnered national attention and served as a model for other states, has engaged about 1,600 Kentucky parents, teaching them how to have a positive impact on student achievement.

Many have gone on to serve in key leadership positions: At least 750 have served on local site-based councils, 47 have served on local school boards and two have served on the state Board of Education.

Begun in 1997, the impact of CIPL fellows, parent leaders with information, skills, and data that prepares them to partner with schools to improve student achievement, is being felt across the state,” said Bev Raimondo, director of the Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership. “We are excited that Gov. Beshear sees this and is supporting it by making CIPL the Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership.”

In this era of high quality reform taking place in our nation, it is more important now than ever to have parent leaders deeply involved with our schools,” said Stu Silberman, executive director, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “The Governor’s Institute will be a gold standard for this leadership training for our parents. Once again, Kentucky steps up and takes the lead.”

In its most recent sessions, the Institute this past year held three regional classes for parents – in Hazard, Florence and Henderson. Those parents then share their knowledge with others, as peers and mentors.

My participation in the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership has refined me as a person, a parent and a citizen. I am so proud of the achievements, the successes and the advocacy opportunities I’ve been given because of confidence gained while educating myself and others,” said Teresa Dawes, a parent and 2001 participant in the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership. “Being an advocate for change is true empowerment. GCIPL’s support will reinforce the mission of the Prichard Committee by providing a public voice advocating for continually improved education for all Kentuckians. CIPL fellows past, present and future welcome the collaboration with open arms.”

The new program extends the reach of the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, taking the program statewide and formally recognizing its efforts. The program will remain a private, independent, nonprofit corporation funded by donations.

While it is not a state agency, the new name demonstrates the Governor’s commitment to the program. Since there is no state funding available, the program is seeking private support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

Additionally, University of Pikeville President Paul Patton and Morehead State University President Wayne Andrews announced a collaboration that will conduct the first Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership session, to be held in Eastern Kentucky next fall.

The new program’s goal is to fund and schedule at least two more institutes in 2013, and eventually offer five to six per year throughout Kentucky. Each program is three sets of two-day sessions, with follow-up coaching.

For more information or to get involved in the Institute for Parent Leadership, visit kygovcipl.org.

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.

Related:

Tips for parent and teacher conferences                          https://drwilda.com/2012/11/07/tips-for-parent-and-teacher-conferences/

Common Sense Media report: Media choices at home affect school performance                                                              https://drwilda.com/2012/11/01/common-sense-media-report-media-choices-at-home-affect-school-performance/

Parents can use tax deductions to pay for special education needs                                                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/10/24/parents-can-use-tax-deductions-to-pay-for-special-education-needs/

Intervening in the lives of truant children by jailing parents https://drwilda.com/2012/10/07/intervening-in-the-lives-of-truant-children-by-jailing-parents/

Making time for family dinner                                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/09/10/making-time-for-family-dinner/

Where information leads to Hope.Dr. Wilda.com

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