Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Parent involvement at L.A. schools getting new look - latimes.com

In Cudahy, parents collected more than 600 signatures demanding a new principal. In Culver City, they fought attempts to unionize classroom aides and formed a group that elected a school board majority.

In Los Angeles, parents are organizing for more effective school disciplinary practices. And hundreds recently flocked to a Sacramento hearing to demand a voice in shaping rules for the state's new school funding plan.

This may well be the new look of parent power. While the PTA and other school-based groups used to be the primary vehicle for parent involvement, a plethora of new organizing models has proliferated — many of them reaching out to immigrants to boost their activism in schools.

"The face of parent involvement is definitely changing in California, as it should, given that 70% of our state's population under age 25 are youth of color," said Mary Lou Fulton, senior program manager at the California Endowment, the state's largest healthcare foundation.

Community and civil rights organizations are supporting much of the parent organizing. Asian Americans Advancing Justice and MALDEF, a Mexican American civil rights organization, are coordinating a network of 16 parent groups to educate families on such problems as school budgets and train them in leadership skills to push for translation services, better nutrition and other matters.

1 comment:

  1. Granted parent voices need to be heard. First we need to learn what good education practices look like, then speak-up. This is a time when right-wing ideas are being pushed at the grass-roots level in critical areas dealing with the quality of life.