Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

More Parental Power in Revised NCLB Urged: AMEN!

Expand Messages
  • Luisoreyes@aol.com
    AMEN! Education Week More Parental Power in Revised NCLB Urged By David J. Hoff April 4, 2007 Washington The No Child Left Behind Act has expanded parents’
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 4, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      AMEN!
       
      Education Week
      More Parental Power in Revised NCLB Urged
      April 4, 2007
      Washington
       
      The No Child Left Behind Act has expanded parents’ power over their children’s education and given them more information about student achievement than ever before. But Congress ought to take further steps to promote parental involvement when it reauthorizes the 5-year-old law, parent activists told a Senate panel last week.
       
      The federal law should guarantee funding for parent resource centers, authorize schools to spend federal money to hire family-service coordinators, and give states the power to enforce the parental-involvement sections of the education law, the advocates told the Senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee on March 28.
       
      “Schools are not taking these provisions seriously enough,” Wendy D. Puriefoy, the president of the Public Education Network, said of the law. “Significant changes are needed.”
       
      Under the NCLB law, districts are required to involve parents when they are writing their plans to comply with Title I and other programs in the law. They also must develop a parental-involvement policy and hold regular meetings with parents explaining what the district is doing to meet the law’s achievement goals for students in reading and mathematics.
       
      Although parental advocates considered those requirements to be significant improvements over previous versions of the law authorizing the Title I compensatory education program, they suggested that Congress should do more.
       
      In addition to Ms. Puriefoy’s request for states to be given the power to ensure districts are fully complying with the parental-involvement measures, other experts suggested that portions of the $12.7 billion Title I program be set aside to pay for services to help parents.

      Parents’ Role

      Schools should be able to use Title I aid to hire a person to identify students who need health and social services and work with outside agencies to ensure such services are provided, Daniel J. Cardinali, the president of Communities in Schools, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit group that helps schools provide services schools need, told the committee.
       
      If schools fail to meet their student-achievement goals for adequate yearly progress under the NCLB law, they should be required to explain how they would address the welfare and health needs of their students as part of their plans to improve student achievement, Mr. Cardinali said.
       
      Interventions such as rigorous curricula and highly qualified teachers “will not be able to be effective if the basic social services for children are not met,” he said.
       
      Schools also should be required to write plans that explain the educational interventions they will provide for every child, said Kathy Patenaude, the president of the Rhode Island PTA.
       
      Teachers should review plans with parents regularly and the meetings should be “ongoing, meaningful, and two-way,” Ms. Patenaude said.
       
      In a set of recommendations released before the hearing, the National PTA urged Congress to set aside a portion of Title I’s annual appropriation to finance parental information and resource centers. The statewide nonprofit organizations currently receive $39.6 million appropriated in their own line item in the budget for the federal Department of Education.
       
      By setting aside a portion of Title I money, the parental centers would have a steady funding stream and wouldn’t have to lobby annually for an appropriation, the National PTA says.
       
      Although few senators attended the hearing, several suggested that they would support expanding parental involvement when they reauthorize the NCLB law. Congress is scheduled to renew the law this year, but many observers expect lawmakers will postpone action, perhaps until 2009.
       
      “We must … explore new and innovate strategies to engage parents and communities in helping kids succeed in school,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said in a statement. Sen. Kennedy, the education committee chairman, did not attend the hearing.
       
      Vol. 26, Issue 31, Page 23

      AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.
    • LRN1212@aol.com
      I certainly agree that parents must be more involved and be given more information about decisions made in the schools. In many Title 1 schools, like the one
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 4, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        I certainly agree that parents must be more involved and be given more information about decisions made in the schools. In many Title 1 schools, like the one in which I teach, we have a really hard time getting parents to come to PA, Leadership Team meetings or informational meetings  (like how to help your child at home with reading/writing/math). Schools must be given the money to really reach out to parents and families and make them feel welcome and not intimidated. We need money for food and day care for families that attend workshops.  We also need money to buy material (like books) to give out to parents at workshops. The schools should be open after school for parent workshops in ESL, adult literacy, computers.  Also families should have access to the computers and the school library after school hours. Too often our parent involvement attempts only involve a few parents.  We all know that hiring a "parent coordinator", does not  necessarily  mean parents will be more involved.
         Below is an "Action Alert" from the national group, Fair Test. Instead of sanctions for schools who are not making enough progress, they are calling for help for the schools.  One very important part of that is parental involvement.  Below the Action Alert is some of the language submitted to Congress to amend NCLB from the Forum on Educational Accountability.  The entire legislation will be posted soon on the Fair Test Web site.  Lisa
         

        Act TODAY for NCLB Overhaul

         

        The Bush Administration and its Congressional allies are trying to push through fast-track renewal of the fundamentally flawed “No Child Left Behind” law without the public debate it requires.

         

        Now is the time for assessment reformers like you to act.  Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative today. Tell them NCLB should not be reauthorized unless all these issues are addressed. Ask them to contact the Education Committee and press for adoption of the reforms listed here.

         

        • End arbitrary and unrealistic “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP) requirements used to punish schools not on track to having all students score “proficient” by 2014. AYP should be replaced by expectations based on real-world rates of improved student achievement. Academic progress should be measured by multiple sources of evidence, not just standardized test scores.

         

        • Reduce excessive top-down testing mandates. The requirement that states assess each student every year in grades three through eight (and once in high school) should be reduced to once each in elementary, middle and high school. Over-testing takes time away from real teaching and learning.

         

        • Remove counter-productive sanctions. Escalating punitive consequences, which lack evidence of success, should be eliminated. These include requirements to spend money on school transfers and tutoring, as well as provisions calling for the replacement of teachers or privatizing control over schools.

         

        • Replace NCLB’s test-and-punish approach with support for improving educational quality. This includes holding schools accountable for making systemic changes through locally controlled professional development and family involvement programs. Federal funding should be more than doubled so that all eligible children receive support.

         

        The thrust of this approach is outlined in the Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB http://www.fairtest.org/joint%20statement%20civil%20rights%20grps%2010-21-04.html with details in Redefining Accountability: Improving Student Learning by Building Capacity. http://www.fairtest.org/FEA_Home.html.  

         

        Members of Congress are in their home districts during the first half of April. Take advantage of this opportunity to make your views heard. Personal calls, letters, faxes and visits are much more effective than email.  Addresses and phone numbers are available at http://www.house.gov and http://www.senate.gov.

         

        Please take action today.  The U.S. will continue to leave many children behind unless your voice is heard.

         

         

        Proposed actual changes to NCLB:

        Amendments to Section 1118.

        Sec. 1118. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

         

        I. In the caption, after “INVOLVEMENT”, insert “AND SUPPORT”, so that the new caption reads: “Sec. 1118. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND SUPPORT”.

         

        II. Immediately after the new caption, insert a new subsection (a) as follows:

        (a)    FINDINGS – Congress makes the following findings:

        (1)   A key means for dramatically improving student achievement is to enhance family support for student learning at home and at school.  More than 35 years of research has proven the positive connection between parent involvement and student success.  Schools with well-structured, high quality parent and family involvement programs see better student grades, higher test scores, and higher graduation rates, as well as a decrease in drug and alcohol use and fewer instances of violent behavior.  And these family involvement programs are linked to higher teacher and administrator morale and increased job satisfaction.

        (2)   Parent involvement is a cornerstone of this Act.  In fact, parents are mentioned over 650 times in the law.  It requires schools and districts to develop programs that build parent involvement and assist parents to partner more easily and readily with the school to support their children’s academic progress.  These programs include written parent involvement policies, school-parent compacts, and opportunities for parents to participate at the school, give input into school programs, and gain knowledge and skills to support their children’s education.  The law also encourages schools and districts to increase adult literacy efforts and to maximize family support resources by partnering with community agencies.

        (3)   Yet, current provisions have not been implemented effectively.  The shortage of parent involvement programs is disappointing.  School professionals want more parent involvement, but have few tools to accomplish this.  Most parents would like to be more involved, but they are largely unaware of their rights and opportunities under the law.  In addition, the parent provisions of this Act, unlike many other provisions, lack the force to compel implementation by states, districts and schools.  Congress needs to provide incentives for states, districts, and schools to include greater numbers of parents in ongoing, meaningful dialogue about improving schools and increasing parent involvement.

        (4)   Moreover, adult literacy and parenting/family skills programs for parents of students in “high needs schools” are sorely lacking.  These programs would equip parents with the skills to more effectively support their children’s learning at home.  If parents are unable to provide such support, schools would make available adult mentoring or other programs to provide stability, assistance, and positive role models for academic learning.

        (5)   To implement effective programs of parent involvement, parenting/family skills, and adult mentoring, the law must dramatically increase the funding allocated for parent involvement from 1 percent to 5 percent of Title I funds.

        III. Immediately after the new “Sec. 1118(a). FINDINGS”, insert a new subsection 1118(b), captioned “PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT”, and include in this subsection all the text formerly contained in Sec. 1118.  Renumber all the provisions of the former Sec. 1118 accordingly, to reflect that they are now part of subsection (b) of Sec. 1118.

         

        IV. Amend selected provisions of the former Sec. 1118, as follows [numbers refer to 2001 law]:

        1.      Sec. 1118(a)(2) WRITTEN POLICY – At the end of the first sentence, immediately after “a written parent involvement policy” and before the “.”, insert: “, with parents having an equal role and involvement to school personnel in the planning process”.

        2.      Sec. 1118(a)(2)(A) – Immediately after the end of this provision, “and improvement under section 1116;”, insert the following two new provisions:

        i.                     1118(a)(2)(B) – “provide opportunities for meaningful parent involvement in the decisions that affect children and families, including school policies, practices, reform issues, and goals;”

        ii.                   1118(a)(2)(C) – “connect the policy to the school’s educational goals;”.

        3.      Sec. 1118(a)(2)(E) – Immediately after the end of this provision, “the parental involvement policies described in this section; and”, insert the following: “submit the evaluation to the district for approval, with resubmission to the state for purposes of research, analysis, and reporting;”

        4.      Sec. 1118(a)(2)(B)-(F) – Reletter provisions 1118(a)(2)(B)(C)(D)(E)(F) as 1118(a)(2)(D)(E)(F)(G)(H), respectively, in the former numbering format.

        5.      Sec. 1118(e)(5) – Strike the language after “parents of participating children” and insert, instead, the following: “using multiple communications tools, such as web sites, e-mail, newsletters, telephone calls, home visits, cable TV shows, district publications, and other public relations tools to reach out to parents and inform them about their rights and responsibilities under this Act, is easy to understand and, to the maximum extent possible, is provided in all the languages used by parents of students served by the school or district.”

        6.      Sec. 1118(f) ACCESSIBILITY – Immediately before this subsection, insert a new subsection (f) as follows: “Sec. 1118(f) INTERNET ACCESS – States, districts and schools shall provide opportunities to increase internet access and training for parents.” 

        7.      Sec. 1118(f)(g)(h) – Reletter these subsections as 1118(g)(h)(i), respectively, in the former number format.

         

        V. At the end of the former subsection “1118(h) REVIEW” [which is now the end of the new subsection 1118(b)] insert a new subsection as follows:

              “Sec. 1118(c) PARENTAL SUPPORT -

        (1)   All Title I-funded ‘high needs schools’ shall offer adult literacy and family skills programs to family members to help motivate and support their children with schoolwork and to encourage them to meet high academic standards.

        (2)   All Title I-funded ‘high needs schools’ shall offer adult mentoring or other programs that provide individualized support and motivation for children whose parents are unable to provide stability, structure, and positive role models for pursuing academic achievement.

         

        VI. Insert a new subsection (d) as follows:

              “Sec. 1118(d) REPORTING –

        (1)   All schools receiving Title I funds shall submit to their districts annual information on their implementation of parent involvement policies, plans, and practices, including obstacles encountered and steps taken to overcome them, successes, and the impact of carrying out such policies.  Information may include parent survey results and the number of parents attending school improvement meetings and workshops, volunteering, observing in classrooms, and participating in adult literacy and family skills classes, as well as the number of students receiving adult mentoring or other individualized adult support.

        (2)   Each district receiving Title I funds shall aggregate and summarize the school information required by Sec. 1118(d)(1) and report it annually to the state.  These reports shall include evaluation of the extent to which each school has complied with the parent involvement requirements.

        (3)   Each state receiving Title I funds shall aggregate and summarize the information required by Sec. 1118(d)(2) from the various districts and report it annually to the U.S. Department of Education.  Each state shall include copies of the full report submitted to each district.  These reports shall include evaluation of the extent to which each district has complied with the parent involvement requirements.

        (4)   The Department shall aggregate, summarize, analyze, and evaluate the state information, including whether the states are adequately supporting schools and districts in implementing the Act’s parent involvement provisions, and report the results to Congress annually.

        (5)   The Department shall promulgate regulations for this subsection within 180 days of passage of this Act.

        (6)   All reports required by Sec. 1118(d)(1)(2)(3) and (4) shall be made publicly available at the same time that they are submitted to the designated recipient and, wherever possible, in electronic form on a publicly accessible web site.

         

        VII. Insert a new subsection (e), as follows:

              Sec. 1118(e) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE –

        (1)   FEDERAL –

        (A)   The U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) will establish and operate a Parent Involvement Assistance office to provide leadership and technical assistance, including best practices, to states on issues related to parent involvement, especially focusing on how to effectively implement the parent involvement and support provisions of this Act.  The Department will monitor the implementation of those provisions at the state level.

        (B)   The Department shall:

        (i)            develop a document that outlines and details all of the Act’s provisions and requirements which pertain to parent involvement and support;

        (ii)          develop a parent involvement handbook for use by administrators, teachers, and parents, which shall include practical tools, ideas, and resources for effective implementation of the Act’s parent involvement provisions;

        (iii)         widely disseminate both the summary of legal requirements and the handbook described in Sec. 1118(e)(1)(B)(i)(ii) to all public, private, and religious K-12 schools in the country, including those that do not receive Title I funding, and to community-based, parent, and faith-based organizations;

        (iv)        widely disseminate the findings from Department-funded research on effective parent involvement;

        (v)          publish all information related to parent involvement in a style that is easy to understand; and

        (vi)        make these publications available on its web site.

        (2)   STATE –

        (A)   Every state receiving Title I funds will establish and operate a Parent Involvement Assistance office to provide leadership and technical assistance, including best practices, to districts, schools, parents, and other interested parties on issues related to parent involvement, especially focusing on how to implement the Act’s parent involvement and support provisions.

        (B)   States will monitor the implementation of those provisions at the district and school levels.

        (C)   States shall utilize the data collected in Sec. 1118(d) to target technical assistance efforts to schools and districts most in need of assistance in implementing the provisions.

        (D)   Each state shall also provide a means for concerned citizens to inform the state office of Parent Involvement Assistance of any disagreements with a district’s report.

        (3)   STATE AND LOCAL –

        In addition to building their own capacity, schools, districts, and states shall provide opportunities for independent, grassroots, or other community-based organizations to participate in parental involvement programs at the school and district level through a designated application process for service providers.

         

        VIII. Insert a new subsection (f) as follows:

              Sec. 1118(f) ENFORCEMENT –

        (1)   STATE –

        (A)  If a school or district is found to be out of compliance with the provisions of this section for two consecutive years, the state Parent Involvement Assistance office shall, in consultation with all the relevant parties, including parents in the affected school or district, determine the steps necessary to effect compliance.

        (B)  If the state determines that this can be done through technical assistance, the state shall be responsible for providing appropriate technical assistance to the school/district.

        (C)  If the state determines that technical assistance would not be sufficient to remedy the noncompliance, the state or its designee shall be responsible for the operation of the parent involvement program.

        (2)   FEDERAL –

        The U.S. Department of Education shall issue regulations for addressing non-compliance by states with the provisions of this section.

         

        IX. Insert a new subsection (g) as follows:

              Sec. 1118(g) FUNDING –

        (1)   No less than 5 percent of the funds flowing to each district under Title I of this Act shall be used to carry out the Act’s parental involvement requirements.  Each district shall use: (A) no less than two-fifths of that amount to implement the programs in subsection 1118(b); (B) no less than two-fifths of that amount to implement the programs in subsection 1118(c); and (C) up to the remaining one-fifth to carry out subsections 1118(d)(e)(f).

        (2)   For the purpose of carrying out the Parent Information and Resource Centers provided for by Sec. 5561, et seq. of the current law, the only federally funded source that is intended solely to help schools and communities meet the Act’s parent involvement requirements, the amount authorized to be appropriated is increased from about $40,000,000 to $150,000,000.  


         

         

         

         





        See what's free at AOL.com.
      • tammie k
        What you see in writing isnt always that way. Parental power, we special education parents have been fighting this for a while. We as parents are willing to go
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 6, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          What you see in writing isnt always that way. Parental power, we special education parents have been fighting this for a while. We as parents are willing to go in and help teach our child to lessen the burden of the districts, they dont allow us in.Most school districts forbid parental involvement, they actually discourage it. We as parents whether its be special needs or just a typical child need to start standing together, we all need to come together and help one another.
            TK in CNY
          Luisoreyes@... wrote:
          AMEN!
           
          Education Week
          More Parental Power in Revised NCLB Urged
          April 4, 2007
          Washington
           
          The No Child Left Behind Act has expanded parents’ power over their children’s education and given them more information about student achievement than ever before. But Congress ought to take further steps to promote parental involvement when it reauthorizes the 5-year-old law, parent activists told a Senate panel last week.
           
          The federal law should guarantee funding for parent resource centers, authorize schools to spend federal money to hire family-service coordinators, and give states the power to enforce the parental-involvemen t sections of the education law, the advocates told the Senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee on March 28.
           
          “Schools are not taking these provisions seriously enough,” Wendy D. Puriefoy, the president of the Public Education Network, said of the law. “Significant changes are needed.”
           
          Under the NCLB law, districts are required to involve parents when they are writing their plans to comply with Title I and other programs in the law. They also must develop a parental-involvemen t policy and hold regular meetings with parents explaining what the district is doing to meet the law’s achievement goals for students in reading and mathematics.
           
          Although parental advocates considered those requirements to be significant improvements over previous versions of the law authorizing the Title I compensatory education program, they suggested that Congress should do more.
           
          In addition to Ms. Puriefoy’s request for states to be given the power to ensure districts are fully complying with the parental-involvemen t measures, other experts suggested that portions of the $12.7 billion Title I program be set aside to pay for services to help parents.

          Parents’ Role

          Schools should be able to use Title I aid to hire a person to identify students who need health and social services and work with outside agencies to ensure such services are provided, Daniel J. Cardinali, the president of Communities in Schools, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit group that helps schools provide services schools need, told the committee.
           
          If schools fail to meet their student-achievement goals for adequate yearly progress under the NCLB law, they should be required to explain how they would address the welfare and health needs of their students as part of their plans to improve student achievement, Mr. Cardinali said.
           
          Interventions such as rigorous curricula and highly qualified teachers “will not be able to be effective if the basic social services for children are not met,” he said.
           
          Schools also should be required to write plans that explain the educational interventions they will provide for every child, said Kathy Patenaude, the president of the Rhode Island PTA.
           
          Teachers should review plans with parents regularly and the meetings should be “ongoing, meaningful, and two-way,” Ms. Patenaude said.
           
          In a set of recommendations released before the hearing, the National PTA urged Congress to set aside a portion of Title I’s annual appropriation to finance parental information and resource centers. The statewide nonprofit organizations currently receive $39.6 million appropriated in their own line item in the budget for the federal Department of Education.
           
          By setting aside a portion of Title I money, the parental centers would have a steady funding stream and wouldn’t have to lobby annually for an appropriation, the National PTA says.
           
          Although few senators attended the hearing, several suggested that they would support expanding parental involvement when they reauthorize the NCLB law. Congress is scheduled to renew the law this year, but many observers expect lawmakers will postpone action, perhaps until 2009.
           
          “We must … explore new and innovate strategies to engage parents and communities in helping kids succeed in school,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said in a statement. Sen. Kennedy, the education committee chairman, did not attend the hearing.
           
          Vol. 26, Issue 31, Page 23

          AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.


          Sucker-punch spam with award-winning protection.
          Try the free Yahoo! Mail Beta.

        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.