Monday, January 24, 2011


Melissa MacBride | KABC-7 News |


Monday, January 24, 2011 -- DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District and members of a special taskforce are working to boost parental participation and responsibilities within public education.

The idea of the Parents Engagement Taskforce was developed in December when the school board passed a resolution to form the group made up of parents, teachers, labor and school leaders, and parent advocates.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines said some teenagers do not want their parents involved at their high schools, but after the shooting at Gardena High School last week and the shooting of a school police officer in Woodland Hills, Cortines said parents need to be more involved in the education of their children.

The group will break up into several subcommittees - one will partner up with community groups, and another will connect parents with resources from local government agencies. The taskforce will also draft a parents' bill of rights.

Cortines said the LAUSD needs to improve the way it communicates with its students' families.

"We need to educate them, just like we do teachers and administrators, to understand the educational program that goes on in classrooms so they can ask the questions, 'What if?' 'How come?' and 'Why not?'" Cortines said.

The meeting is scheduled to last from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and is open to the public. Since Monday's taskforce meeting is the first of its kind, it was scheduled in the morning, but Cortines said later meetings will likely be in the evenings so more parents can participate.

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