-- Parent Engagement Lab (Dec 2012)


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  1. 1.’s     Parent  Engagement  Lab:       a  parent-­‐centered  process  to  yield   mul8ple  ideas  for  genuine  parent   engagement  in  NYC  schools     November  2013    
  2. 2.  used  the  following  slideshow  as  part  of  its     Talking  Transi+on  presenta8on  (11/21/13).         ***     A  project  of  the  Fund  for  the  City  of  New  York,     NYCpublic  seeks  to  connect  parents:     !  to  the  issues  they  care  about,     !  to  other  parents  who  share  their  concerns,     !  to  ways  of  taking  ac8on,     !  and  to  resources  and  organiza8ons  that  can  make   their  ac8ons  even  more  powerful.          
  3. 3. Table  of  Contents     5-­‐8      Overview   9    Why  a  Parent  Engagement  Lab?     10-­‐19    The  PEL  Process:  Step-­‐by-­‐Step   18-­‐20    Research  Basis  and  Reac8on   22-­‐53    Compendium  of  Ideas  Generated  at  the  PEL   54-­‐57    About   3  
  4. 4.   “The  idea  was  that  if  you  give  parents  be9er  results,  be9er   service  —  311  sorts  of  things  —  and  more  choice,  then  you   don’t  need  poli+cs,  they  don’t  need  par+cipa+on,  they  don’t   need  to  be  involved  because  they’ll  get  what  they  want  as  a   consumer,”  Jim  Liebman  [former  Chief  of  Accountability,   NYCDOE]  said.  “And  I  think  that’s  true  for  some  things,  but   it  turns  out  that  public  educa+on  is  something  that  parents   really,  deeply  want  to  be  involved  in.”       -­‐-­‐  Gotham  Schools,  11/20/13   4  
  5. 5.                         5  
  6. 6.     What  might  “real”  parent   engagement  look  like  in  NYC’s  public   schools?    
  7. 7. 4  mayoral    parents  from   all  boroughs   campaigns  sent   candidates  or    abended   staff   parents  from  all  boroughs  abended       160  “solu8ons”  were  generated       160   4  mayoral  campaigns  sent  candidates  or   “solu8ons”   were   staff     generated   7  
  8. 8. Three  Goals  of  the  Day   !  Re-­‐envision   parent   engagement  in   NYC  public   schools   ! Model  a  new     process  for   parent   engagement     !  Present   parents’   solu8ons  to   mayoral   candidates     8  
  9. 9. Why  a  Parent  Engagement  Lab?     ! The  Parent  Engagement  Lab  is  NYCpublic’s  version     of  the  charrebe.     ! The  charrebe,  a  structured  brainstorming  protocol     with  roots  in  architecture,    invites  full  par8cipa8on   and  collabora8on  between  diverse  stakeholders.     ! Parent  Engagement  Labs  support  parents  as  they     move  from  iden8fying  challenges  to  building   solu8ons  (together).                 9  
  10. 10. Step  1:  A  panel  of  experts  spoke  to  par8cipants  about  the   current  state  of  parent  engagement  in  NYC  and  beyond.   Lisa  Donlan,  CEC  1  President   Fran  Huckaby,  Professor  of   Educa8on  at  TCU   How  has  mayoral   control  impacted   parents’  access  to   power  and  input  into   decision  making?     NYC SCHOOL GOVERNANCE How  are  parents   organizing  &  engaging   across  the  country  to   improve  schools?   MAYOR parent, teacher and community involvement structure Chancellor PEP Panel on Educational Policy Children   DOE Department Of Education CITYWIDE DFACE Division of Family And Community Engagement COMMUNITY UFT DR UFT District Rep SCHOOL CPAC Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council UFT Chapter Leader CCELL Citywide Council English Launguage Learners Presidents Council DLT District Leadership Team CCSE Citywide Council on Special Education CCHS Citywide Council on High Schools CDS Community District Superintendent CDEC Community District Education Council DFA District Family Advocate Title One DPAC Principal Parent (Teacher) Association SLT School Leadership Team Title One PAC PC Parent Coordinator Kim  Sweet,  Execu8ve   Director  of  Advocates  for   Under  mayoral   control  law,  what   powers    are  legally   accorded  to  parents?   10  
  11. 11. Step  2:  In  breakout  groups,  par8cipants  iden8fied  the   impacts  of  the  current  parent-­‐engagement  model.   200  post-­‐its  captured  over  200  “impacts.”   11  
  12. 12. Par8cipants  noted  impacts  anywhere  that   parents  interact  with  the  school  system.     ! have  in-­‐depth  lcevel  (e.g.,  language  btarriers  make  rogress,  o  r  to    at  the  school   onversa8ons  about   heir  child’s  p it  hard  t o par8cipate  in  the  PTA)     ! at  the  district  level  (e.g.,  parents  are  not  consulted  for  key       district  decisions  like  what  kinds  of  new  schools  are  needed  or   where  to  site  them)   ! at  the  central  level  (e.g.,  parents  are  seen  as  a  group  to  be       managed  and  policies  are  rolled  out  without  parents’  input)       12  
  13. 13. Step  3:  Groups  brainstormed  solu8ons  that  addressed   the  challenges  iden8fied  in  the  first  session  and   suggested  ways  forward  for  the  next  mayor.   13  
  14. 14. Some  of  the  ideas  that  emerged     The  mayor  could  adopt  the  following  approaches  to  his   new  job:     !  See  himself  as  working  in  service  of  the  schools  and   not  as  someone  who  must  control  them;   !  Create  policies  that  come  from  a  variety  of   stakeholders,  educators,  parents,  administrators,   community  members,  and  experts  in  the  field;   ! Appoint  an  educator  to  the  posi8on  of  Chancellor.       14  
  15. 15. Step  4:  Breakout  groups  each  selected  one  idea  to   flesh  out  and  worked  with  a  graphic  designer  to   illustrate  and  clarify  their  idea.     15  
  16. 16. Step  5:  Breakout  groups  present  “big  ideas”  to   mayoral  candidates  or  their  representa8ves.   16  
  17. 17. Step  6:  Every  post-­‐it  and  drawing  was  collected.   Documenta8on  of  parents’  collabora8on  ensures   con8nued  life  for  their  ideas.   17  
  18. 18.                           There  is    a  research-­‐base  for  this    method  of  engagement.                     “…what  is  needed  to  improve  schools  is   an  ac+ve  ci+zenry,  invested  in  solving   educa+onal  problems  through  public   delibera+on.”   -­‐  Kenneth  Howe  and  David  Meens,  Democracy  LeJ  Behind,  2012   18  
  19. 19. The  feedback  on  the  process  was  very   posi8ve,  as  well.     “This  was  a  really  authen+c  process  where  ideas  and   input  came  from  the  ground  up  from  parents  who  are   out  there  every  day.  [This  is]  a  wonderful  start...and  the   type  of  dialogue  that  needs  to  happen  throughout  the   city  and  that  I  think  will  be  really  helpful  …  to  all  of  the   candidates.”     Jan  Atwell   City  Council  Educa8on  Policy  Analyst   19  
  20. 20.   We  promised  that  we  would  share   the  day’s  outcomes  with  the  next   mayor.         20  
  21. 21. COMPENDIUM         Answers  to  the  ques8on  “What  might  ‘real’  parent  engagement  look   like  under  the  next  mayor?”       All  ideas*  generated  during  the  Parent  Engagement  Lab     (charrebe)         December  2012           •        *These  have  been  sorted  and  categorized.     21  
  22. 22. Category  1   Create  structures  that  priori8ze/ privilege  parent  engagement.  
  23. 23.   !  Strengthen  the  current  structure  to  meaningfully  include  parents   or  work  to  change  the  structure.   !  “Accountability”  should  include  how  well  a  school  or  the  system   invites  and  listens  to  parents’  voices.       !  Publish  a  “report  card”  for  parent  engagement  at  each  school   determined  by  authen8c  parent  surveys  and  input.   !  Create  a  citywide  leadership  team  where  all  cons8tuents  (parents,   students,  teachers,  principals,  advocates)  weigh  in  on  policy  issues.     !  Establish  regular  “town  mee8ngs”  where  the  mayor  just  listens  to   issues.  He  or  she  can  start  the  next  mee8ng  by  recoun8ng  what  he   or  she  heard  and  what  his  or  her  progress  is  on  each  issue.   !  Establish  office  hours  where  reps  or  the  mayor  hears  from  parents.     23  
  24. 24. !   Create  a  truly  inclusive  system  that  mandates  real  parent  and  community   input  in  decisions  at  the  school,  district,  or  city  level.   !   Provide  for  (parent  involvement)  as  a  line  in  each  school’s  budget  to  pay   for  trainers  and  technical  assistance  (same  as  DYCD  and  other  agencies   that  provide  services  through  CBOs).   !   Create  a  parent  feedback  system  that  is  not  abached  to  the  Progress   Report.   !   Each  school  could  create  a  shared  project  with  teachers  and  parents  (this   could  be  about  any  issue  in  the  school,  like  how  to  create  less  waste  at   lunch)  with  the  goal  of  fostering  communica8on  and  collabora8on.   !   Each  cabinet  member  is  given  the  task  to  meet  with  100  parents,  each   year,  to  discuss  and  debate  policies.   !   Create  real/meaningful  volunteer  roles  for  parents  and  provide  training   support.   !   Train  school  personnel  on  the  rights  of  children  and  parents,  respect  and   friendliness.     24  
  25. 25.   Category  2   Take  steps  to  guarantee  that  parents  on   School  Leadership  Teams  (SLTs)  have  a  real   voice  in  school  level  decisions.    
  26. 26.   ! I  mplement  the  enforcement  of  legislated  avenues  for   parent  input.   ! Ensure  real  well-­‐func8oning  SLTs.     !  Give  SLTs  members  comprehensive  training  so  they   understand  the  poten8al  of  their  role  and  can  make   meaningful  contribu8ons.   ! Principals  should  not  chair  SLTs.     !  Add  evalua8on  of  power  sharing  on  SLT  to  the  Quality   Review.   ! Comprehensive  Educa8on  Plans  (CEPs)  should  be     streamlined  and  re-­‐evaluated,  and  should  play  a  role  in   school/principal  evalua8ons.     26  
  27. 27. Category  3       Take  a  close  look  at  PTAs  across  the  city  and   find  ways  to  strengthen  them  all.    
  28. 28. !   Help  PTAs  get  a  sense  of  how  well  they  are  func8oning  in  rela8on  to  other   PTAs.     !   Offer  those  that  are  struggling  or  whoever  wants  it  opportuni8es  for   support.     !   Ins8tute  Peer-­‐to-­‐Peer  exchange  between  PTAs  where  they  share:     !    Agendas     !    Outreach     !        Fundraisers   !        Newslebers   !    How  to  run  mee8ngs     !   New  PTA  presidents  are  mentored  by  seasoned  PTA  presidents:     !  Check  to  see  that  PTA  Presidents  Councils  are  func8oning.     !  Presidents  Councils  should  let  parents  know  their  rights.   !  Empower  PTAs  to  func8on  as  key  partners  in  school  community.       28  
  29. 29. Category  4     Re-­‐examine  the  role  of  Parent   Coordinator.    
  30. 30.   ! Parent  coordinators  should  not  report  to    the     principal  (conflict  of  interest).       ! The  parent  coordinator’s  focus  should  be  on     uni8ng  and  suppor8ng  parents.     30  
  31. 31. Category  5       Restructure  so  that  elected  bodies  (Community   Educa8on  Councils  and  the  Panel  on  Educa8onal   Policy)  act  as  checks  and  balances  for  the  Mayor/ Chancellor.      
  32. 32. !   Give  Community  Educa8on  Councils  (CECs)  authen8c  authority  to   ! ! ! ! ! ! ! impact  decision  making.       Give  CECs  approval  over  co-­‐loca8ons  and  opening/closing/ trunca8ng  schools.       Elect  CEC  reps  directly  by  all  parents  using  cumula8ve  vo8ng.     Empower  CECs  to  roll  call  vote  on  Panel  for  Educa8onal  Policy  (PEP)   policies.     Allow  CECs  to  create  job  descrip8ons  and  supervise,  inform,  train   and  evaluate  parent  coordinators  with  input  from  PTAs.     Re-­‐make  the  PEP  so  that  parent  representa8ves  are  the  majority   and  all  members  serve  fixed  terms.       Put  parents  on  the  PEP  -­‐-­‐  should  be  like  the  School  Leadership   Team  (SLT),  where  #Educators=  #Parents       Change  supervision  of  Presidents  Council  to  include  PTA  execu8ve   board.     Give  PEP  appointees  independence  to  not  rubber  stamp.   ! !   Give  up  mayoral  majority  on  the  PEP.     32  
  33. 33. Category  6       Return  power  to  superintendents.  
  34. 34. !  Let  superintendents  back  in  schools,   supervising  principals.     !  Superintendent  reports  to  the  Community   Educa8on  Council  (CEC).   !  Make  the  community  superintendents  the   place  where  the  buck  stops  for  policy,  budget,   and  complaints.   !  Air  complaints  in  public  monthly  mee8ngs.     34  
  35. 35. Category  7   Mayoral  control  -­‐-­‐  consider   giving  it  up.  
  36. 36. !  Allow  parents  to  create  a  survey  to   assess  mayoral  control   !  Give  power  back  to  stakeholders  and   support  the  sunset  of  mayoral  control   !  Run  schools  with  an  elected  school   board  just  as  the  districts  in  NY  state  do   36  
  37. 37. Category  8     Define  a  new  role  for  City  Council   and  other  elected  officials.    
  38. 38.   ! Give  more  elected  power  for  checks  and     balances  (City  Council)       ! Use  local  elected  officials  community-­‐based     exper8se  and  invite  them  to  influence  policies   38  
  39. 39. Category  9     Create  ways  for  parents  to  get  answers   and  follow  up.    
  40. 40. !  Create  ombudspeople  who  can  listen  to  complaints  and   direct  parents  to  actual  solu8ons.  They  should  follow  up   (carry  a  caseload)  too.   !  Make  ads  and  post  them  everywhere  in  various  languages   to  no8fy  parents  of  a  hotline  site  where  parents  can  go   with  their  problems.   !  Contact  info  should  be  posted  clearly  in  each  school  office.   !  Set  up  an  anonymous  hotline  where  parents  can  ask  or  tell   their  problems  without  fear  of  retribu8on.   !  Require  schools  to  post:  name,  address,  phone  #  of   troubleshoo8ng  offices  in  mul8ple  languages.   !  Create  a  “road  map”  for  where  parents  can  go  with  their   concerns.   40  
  41. 41. Category  10     Create  more  independent,  parent-­‐ led  support.    
  42. 42. ! Have  Title  I  parent  involvement  money  go  to     organiza8ons  controlled  by  parents,  not  the   Department  of  Educa8on.     ! Contract  with  mul8ple  outside  organiza8ons     with  parent-­‐advocacy  exper8se.   42  
  43. 43. Category  11     Use  charrebes,  or  convenings  like  them,   to  solicit  real  input.    
  44. 44. !   Mandate  cross-­‐district  communica8ons  and  mee8ngs,  for  Community   ! ! ! ! Educa8on  Councils,  School  Leadership  Teams,  PTA.     Solicit  input  from  parents  in  a  real  way  and  use  this  to  make  policy.     Create  a  system  of  roundtables  to  invite  input  and  allow  that  input  to   influence  policy.     Use  networks  to  connect  parents  –  create  facilitated  discussions.     Ins8tute  Chancellor  mee8ngs  with  parents  in  every  district,  with   translators,  and  report  back  to  parents  on  result  of  concerns  –  may  break   into  small  groups  with  deputy  chancellors  and  report  back  to  group.     Invest  resources  in  winning  the  par8cipa8on  of  many,  many  stakeholders.   ! !   Have  frequent  events,  maybe  monthly  even,  that  involve  parents  within  a   ! !     district,  within  a  community,  to  have  their  voices  heard  on  the  issues  that   concern  them.       Use  highly  inclusive,  par8cipatory  models  like  the  charrebe  to  rethink   school  placements,  closures,  and  new  school  development.       Treat  new  school  placement  and  development  as  something  whose   success  depends  on  early/deep  Community  Educa8on  Council/community   input  in  the  design  phase.     44  
  45. 45. Category  12   Opening  doors  at  the  top  will  invite   open  doors  in  schools  too.  
  46. 46.   ! I  nspire/make  principals  truly  open  their   doors  to  all  parents.     ! Give  parents  greater  access  to  their  children’s     classrooms  so  that  they  are  able  to  observe   how  their  children’s  school  is  run.   46  
  47. 47. Category  13   Make  it  possible  for  parents  who  do  not  speak   English  as  a  first  language  to  truly  engage  with  their   schools  and  the  system.  
  48. 48.   !  Have  translators/dual  language  support  so  everyone  is  heard   ! ! ! ! ! ! equally.  (Just  try  and  incorporate  us!)    Conduct  mee8ngs  in  the  first  language  of  parents  and   translate  for  English  speakers.    Create  “transla8on  squads.”  Students  get  credit  and  are   trained  to  be  interpreters  at  all  events  and  mee8ngs  (similar   to  “mouse  squads”).    Give  grants  to  Community-­‐Based  Organiza8ons  (CBOs)  for   them  to  offer  transla8on/interpreta8on  services  in  schools.    Work  with  parents  who  are  bilingual  and  offer  workshops.    Hire  staff  (teachers,  admin,  etc.)  who  speak  the  languages  of   the  community.      The  Department  of  Educa8on  (DOE)  needs  to  make  training   school  leaders  truly  inclusive  (in  terms  of  language  and   culture).   48  
  49. 49. Category  14     Explore/create  policies  that  will  make   the  system  more  equitable.    
  50. 50. !  Put  integra8on  back  on  the  table  as  a  priority.   !  Create  schools  in  all  neighborhoods  that  parents  would  feel  proud   ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! to  send  their  kids  to.    Ask  communi8es  about  what  school  they  might  want  to  see  in  their   neighborhood  and  then  request  proposals  that  can  meet  this  need.    Look  at  special  needs  as  a  diversity  and  treat  it  as  a  civil  rights  issue.    Provide  adequate  resources  to  children  with  disabili8es,  making   parents  sign  off  as  a  legi8mate  part  of  the  process.      Parents  evaluate  Individualized  Educa8on  Plan  (IEP)  process/ service.s    Parents  of  children  with  special  needs  receive  training  that  explains   their  rights.    Leadership/parent  development  should  include  working  across   cultural  differences.      Make  provisions  for  “Parent  duty”  (like  the  Family  Leave  Act).      Require  all  employers  in  NYC  to  provide  8me  for  parents  to   par8cipate  in  children’s  schools.  (Can  be  a  voucher  system.)       50  
  51. 51. Category  15     Create  new  web  tools/social  media   outreach.    
  52. 52. ! Create/sponsor  web-­‐based  tools  for  parent  educa8on     and  involvement  for  each  school.   ! Create  local  wikis/blogs.     !  Create  websites  that  allow  parents  to  have  a  voice.     Department  of  Educa8on  staff  should  monitor  these   and  respond  to  ques8ons  and  concerns.   ! Fund  tools  that  allow  parents  to  connect  remotely  via     blogs,  community  forums;  share  best  prac8ces  from  all   schools.   ! Provide  innova8ve  and  concrete  ways  for  parents  to     connect  (for  example,  a  group  for  kindergarten  parents   across  the  city).   ! No8fy  and  encourage  all  parents  of  their  op8ons  for     engagement  in  decision-­‐making.   52  
  53. 53.’s  projects  enable        public  school  parents  to:     !  learn  about  educa8on  policy  issues   !  connect  and  collaborate  with  other  parents   across  geographical,  economic,  social,  and   ethnic  divides     !  maximize  the  reach  of  parent-­‐led  campaigns   through  a  variety  of  online  and  offline  tools   !  build  solu8ons  and  take  ac8on!       53  
  54. 54. What  is  up  to  right  now?   We  are:   !  Building  an  online  playorm  that  allows  parents  to  learn,  organize,  and   take  ac8on,       !  Collabora8ng  with  CEC  1  to  do  a  Parent  Engagement  Lab  (PEL)  focused  on   a  new  school  space  in  their  district,  and     !  Designing    “Parents  Welcome  Here.”  Essen8ally  a  school-­‐based  Parent   Engagement  Lab,  Parents  Welcome  Here  has  parents  and  school  staff   come  together  to  tackle  a  challenge,  such  as  what  to  do  about  food  waste   in  the  cafeteria.  This  common  cause  promotes  community-­‐building  and  a   sense  of  allyship.     54  
  55. 55.   NYCpublic  is  proud  to  have  received  grants  and   dona8ons  from:       Gale  Brewer  (during  her  tenor  as  a  City  Councilperson)   Elance   Estelle  Harris   Four  &  Twenty  Blackbirds   Renee  Rosenberg   Maizie  and  Sue  Schaffner     We  are  especially  thankful  to  Jack  and  Helen  Gorelick  for  their  recent  giz,   to  our  fiscal  sponsor,  Fund  for  the  City  of  New  York,  and  to  Talking   Transi8on  for  providing  us  an  inspira8onal  space  to  share  this  report.      We  invite  you  to  add  your  name  to  this  list.   55  
  56. 56.   Please  stay  in  touch.