Those of us in the
K-12 education arena puzzle over parent involvement a lot. Our new
report helps education leaders, reformers and policymakers take a step
back, examine what parents themselves have to say about the issue, and
determine how education leaders can best tailor their approaches to meet
the concerns and capacities of parents.
Parents have different definitions of parent involvement, different concerns when it comes to improving education for their children, and different interests
regarding the types of school improvement activities they'd be
comfortable doing. The report categorizes these differences into three distinct groups of parents. The Potential Transformers are comfortable shaping education policy. School Helpers prefer more traditional activities. And Help Seekers need support to improve their involvement at home.
leaders should focus on parents' distinct priorities, concerns and
strengths if they want to engage more parents in school improvement.
Yesterday, the Senate
voted down a gun control bill strongly supported by the public. On this
issue, our leaders have failed to take even modest measures aimed at
controlling gun violence, defying the public's judgment that beefed-up
background checks are worth trying.
certainly remain on both sides of the issue, and most of those who are
uneasy about restricting gun access cannot and should not be reduced to a
pawn of extremists. But that doesn't mean we can sit back and try
nothing, especially when the public overwhelming supports reasonable
measures that might improve the safety of our children and communities.
Here's a link to my statement on the Huffington Post. It
still pertains, I think, to the critical questions on immigration and
the budget that are on the policy agenda. We hope leaders will not
continue to ignore the public's voice. And if they do, we hope the
public will stop standing for it.
of us at Public Agenda have personal connections to Boston. Some of us
grew up or went to school there. Some of us have children who live
there or went to school there. Some of us are die-hard Boston sports
fans. Some of us rag on those fans. All of us join in mourning for
Monday's tragic events. We are grateful for everyday heroes, big and
small, and our hearts go out to those personally touched by the
bombings. We leave you one of our favorite responses to the tragedy: "Messing With the Wrong City."
a nonprofit organization that helps diverse leaders and citizens
navigate complex, divisive issues. Through nonpartisan research and
engagement, it provides people with the insights and support they need
to arrive at workable solutions on critical issues, regardless of their
differences. Since 1975, Public Agenda has helped foster progress on
K-12 and higher education reform, health care, federal and local
budgets, energy and immigration. Find Public Agenda online at PublicAgenda.org.
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