Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Your Turn: Give Parents More Power in Schools

Theodora Chang and Erica Williams
The Root/ Education Reform
Posted: February 8, 2011

The case of the Ohio mother jailed for enrolling her daughter in an out-of district school shatters the myth that low-income parents don't care about their children's education. More parental involvement could speed up education reform.

The tale of Kelley Williams-Bolar, a Ohio mother sentenced to jail on Jan. 19 and fined $30,000 for enrolling her daughter in an out-of-district school, has taken on a life of its own. Her story has sparked rallies, petitions and a robust national dialogue about educational equity. But it is more than an illustration of the egregious economic, geographic and racial inequities in our public education system. Williams-Bolar has become the poster parent for a very specific issue in the education-reform movement: parental involvement and choice.

Her story stands in stark contrast to the popular but wildly inaccurate narrative of low-income parents of color being uninterested in -- and stubborn obstacles to -- their children's education. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated (pdf) that low-income and minority parents strongly value education and higher achievement. The question is, what can engaged parents like Williams-Bolar do right now as the arduous reform process moves along?

The current Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes some parental-involvement policies focused on school-parent compacts and parent-teacher conferences. But many parents find these tools inadequate, and they are using more dramatic options.

Read more HERE.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Top Heavy on administration"

Charles County is extremely top heavy on adminstrators, helpers, this and that, and wasting taxpayer money on people that DO NOT TEACHER FULL TIME IN THE CLASSROOM.
These people are a waste. I hope that the state has to cut and they begin with people that began as teachers and the system kept them on, creating a bastien of people that do nothing but feed at the nipple of the taxpayer.

Get these people teaching full time in a classroom of kids. They take these meaningless classes online or somewhere in a little building in Chuck County...

The best thing that you can do, Jennifer Abell, is to insist that these people matriculate their fat *ss*s back into the classroom and teach.

Anonymous said...

Wow! WELL SAID!! For starters how about using all these professional experts with masters and doctorate degrees in EDUCATION as substitute teachers instead of the illiterate grannies or 19 year olds with a hs education? (Not all subs fit these 2 categories but the good ones are few and far between.) Nevertheless, all they do is babysit my children. My children learn nothing when they have a sub. They get busy work. The Big Dogs write, approve, and evaluate the curriculum and all the rules and regs; let them actually teach that stuff in a real life setting. I don't think 3 or 4 days a year actually teaching a classroom of children will kill them. After all, they have advanced degrees in education. There's a start for your budget cuts.

Anonymous said...

Jenn,

Can you get this person an application? It would be great to get this educational expert in the classroom, then continue to advise on how to change education in Charles County. I think all citizens should have a day to sub in the public schools. It can be like jury duty. Come substitute teach. I know that my child would greatly benefit from better substitutes and I think that both of these people could help! Then everyone would have a great idea of what is happening in these darm public schools. Please put this on the next agenda.

Anonymous said...

Why did Charles County hire the majority of new teachers last year from out of state? There are certified teachers from here waiting for jobs and it is really sad that this board hires from out of state before their own county. Is it because these students graduated from Charles County Public Schools before attending college??? Just doesn't seem fair..

Jennifer said...

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) does not discriminate against individuals in its hiring process. While CCPS considers an individual’s county residency status, each individual is subjected to the same interview process (both in-county and out-of-county candidates). Hiring decisions are based upon the principal’s evaluation of a candidate and whether or not he/she is the “best fit” for the vacant position.

Anonymous said...

Not true! They are currently recruiting from out of state and do not even give the local applicants an interview!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4/3's statement is very true. This happened to my friend just this past year. She never got an interview even though she did her student teaching here, had excellent reviews and there were many open positions in her subject area this year. They were filled by out-of-state new teachers. No wonder teacher retention is awful.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully htis year things will change and the teachers from here will at least be given a chance!!!

Anonymous said...

Just heard today that they are acctively recruiting from out of state and these new teachers get a $1500. sign on bonus and their first months rent paid. Why can't they hire the teachers that grew up here and live here already. Makes sense to me when we already have financil issues!!

Jennifer said...

We do not give any bonuses, per the union. We do not pay any rent. We actively recruit in and out of state, especially for critical shortage areas. Maryland does not graduate 50% of the teachers we need. We try to hire locally. We pick the best possible candidate for each position. Everyone goes through an interview & screening process. Just because you have graduated with a degree doesn't meanalways mean you are a good, quality teacher and you are not in state or out of state.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again. I know teachers who got a bonus for coming here to teach. Maybe the County Comissioners need to know how the board is being run.....

Jennifer said...

Anonymous,
Unfortunately you are wrong and working off of outdated material.

I believe CCPS use to give bonuses (I think this was a practice for the critical shortage areas) but CCPS does NOT give bonuses now or the past year. The union will not allow it and it has not been done.

And...the commissioners do NOT govern the Board of Education.

On another note, if you do not like how things are being ran, please offer some constructive advice, or better yet...run for office.

Anonymous said...

Constructive advice would be to tell the truth about the boards hiring practices! They are recruiting from out of state and offering bonuses. This is a fact from someone who works in Admin at the board. So now what?

Jennifer said...

OMG! You sound like a broken record. I'm telling you it does NOT happen. It is NOT allowed and your teachers union would be ALL over it if it did. When you tout FACT from Admin, I assume you mean Human Resources? Until you can provide me with a name, it is NOT fact and I can't do anything about it. Feel free to call me anonymously or email me with some more detail to investigate...THEN I can do something about it. 301-659-4112

Anonymous said...

Jennifer you are so mislead. A PPW just went on a four day recruiting trip through Virginia, NC and West VA. Are they keeping you in the dark or is your friendship with Weslowski keeping you from telling the truth?

Jennifer said...

Anonymous,
Yes they recruit from other states...as well as Maryland. Maryland does not produce enough teachers to satisfy ALL the teaching jobs in the state.
On the other hand, your constant bantering has made me realize that CCPS is NOT under any contractual obligation to hire from within the state. In fact, I don't know of any company that doesn't try to find the highest quality employees to fill the open positions.
It sounds as though you are personally disgruntled...either contact me personally (as previously requested) and reveal the situation or contact the local teachers union, the EACC.
As for your poor attempt at an accusation...the only Weslowski I know is the principal at my daughters middle school and I'm ashamed to say I don't any more about her than her first name. Friends we are not.
Now since this is a very old post and the only two commenting in it is the two of us, we need to agree to disagree. Further comments will be disabled on this thread.