from NEA via PTA Takes Action: Federal Policy Update—December 2011 http://bit.ly/v8V71D
8 Dec 2011 :: The National Education Association (NEA) has issued an exciting new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0: Collaborative Strategies to Advance Student Learning. The report offers 16 examples of what teachers and union leaders in NEA-affiliated districts are doing to collaborate with parents, families, and community members to close achievement gaps, improve low-performing schools, and transform relationships between schools and their communities.
Written by Anne Henderson, a National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group member and renowned researcher in the field of family engagement, the report provides educators and parents with concrete takeaways on implementation of effective, integrated, and sustainable family engagement strategies to boost student achievement.
Executive Summary Family School Community Partnerships 2.0
The executive summary concludes: "These initiatives to engage families and advance student learning, many of which are led by teachers and education support professionals, are a positive development, but they are not yet a trend."
This sets the stage and issues a challenge - but also maps the minefield: "Led my teachers and Educational Professionals" is not the collaborative model that will work – unless that leadership is gentle and from the center and truly mutual. The "We are the teachers and we know what's best" tone is quietly present and suffuses NEA's thinking – the intimation that parent and community engagement can be solved in contract language and MOUs is worrisome – as evidenced in the pending LAUSD/UTLA MOU on the reset of Public School Choice.
Parents need to be parties to the agreement, not beneficiaries of it. We need to be in the room, at the table in the negotiations.