IMPROVING EDUCATION TOGETHER
Focusing Education Reform in Hawaii on Relational Approaches to Community and Family Engagement
A Report Completed By: Clifton S. Tanabe, Ph.D., J.D. Scott Nishimoto Hawaii Educational Policy Center FACE Hawaii Oahu Office 1352 Liliha Street Honolulu, HI 96817 Maui Office 25 West Lipoa Street, Kihei Maui, HI 96753
This short report provides a practical approach to improving education for Hawaii. "Improving Education Together" is similar to Better Together, written by nationally acclaimed, Robert D. Putman (also the author of Bowling Alone) and Lewis M. Feldstein. While Putnam and Feldstein's effort is for "Restoring the American Community," Tanabe and Nishimoto's effort is to build a supportive community to restore our community here in Hawaii. This is well worth your time to read, ponder and perhaps advocate for. Do schools need more community and family support? Will students emerge with an improved education? A practical proposal for today.
Norman Sakamoto Former State Senator Representing the 15th District and Former Senate Education Committee Chair
Introduction In the last three decades, spending on our nation’s schools has more than doubled. However, the U.S. currently ranks 21st, 23rd, and 25th among developed nations in science, reading, and math, respectively. i Today’s children will be the first generation of Americans to be less educated than the previous generation. While education reform is clearly a necessity, the manner in which it is implemented is a topic of fierce debate. The Obama Administration’s emphasis on education reform, teamed with the popularity of documentaries such as, Waiting for Superman, have inspired a national conversation on education reform. And, almost everyone engaged in the debate agrees that there is no “one-size fits all” solution to improving public education in America. As Melody Barnes, the director of President Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council, put it, “… we cannot wait for Superman… We cannot look for a single silver bullet or a single problem… .” ii This paper began as an effort to survey key education reform initiatives - whether led by community groups, educators, union leaders, or state administrations - that are gaining traction nationally. And early in our investigation, we began to narrow our scope to the kinds of initiatives that make sense in Hawaii. Through this process a couple of things became “We know what needs to be clear. For one thing, the reform efforts that show done, no one is willing to do the most promise are focused on specific needs. it.” Based on these needs, successful efforts begin to invest in relevant programs that build on the -Adrien Fenty strengths, commitments and values of local schools and communities. The Harlem Children’s Zone Project, which works to empower families in ways that allow them to positively impact their children’s development, is just one well-publicized example among many.
Another thing that we realized is that there are a number of exciting education reform initiatives happening in Hawaii right now that are focused on everything from increasing the number of National Board Certified Teachers in Hawaii’s schools, to implementing innovative school leadership assessment and development strategies, to emerging efforts to replicate a Hawaii-based version of the Harlem Children’s Zone Project. But, one kind of effort stands out above the rest: Community and Family Engagement in Education. Across the state, there is a unique momentum developing around the idea that innovative community and family engagement strategies may be the linchpin to effective public education reform in Hawaii. This momentum provides a rare opportunity for change. This paper focuses on Community and Family Engagement in Education. It offers a summary of our investigation and recommendations for moving forward. This is not a formal study, but rather an applied inquiry designed to provoke discussion Page 3 of 19
among community organizations and educational leadership to discover new ways to maximize the potential of family and community engagement as an effective strategy for systemic education reform. And, this paper is rooted in the research backed idea that creative and meaningful partnerships between public schools and the families and community members that surround them are one of the most effective ways to improve confidence and trust in public education, iii as well as overall student achievement. iv Discussion on Key Findings 1. Why Focus on Community and Family Engagement in Education? It Works The efficacy of community and family engagement in education is supported by study after study showing the positive impact that a variety of initiatives have had both on an overall sense of trust and confidence in public education, and on improving student achievement at all ages. While this evidence has been available for some time, new research is beginning to show that certain forms of community and family engagement, those that build relational trust, can serve as part of a fundamental strategy in systemic education reform. v
It Is Time
Our survey of education reform began as an effort to identify a handful of key programs that might work in Hawaii. However, during our investigation it soon became clear that we had it backwards. We began to understand that education reform is alive and well in Hawaii, thus our task turned into a listening project. What we learned was that among the variety of different reform efforts emerging across the state, a key collection of locally based community groups and other organizations have developed a strong interest in community and family engagement and are motivated to do something about it.
However, it is important not to overstate the level of public interest regarding this issue. At this point, it is rather clear that a majority of the general public in Hawaii is not insisting on a greater role in the public education decisionmaking process, as evidenced by things like the difficulty many schools are having in finding folks to serve on School Community Councils. Nonetheless, a renewed interest in engagement is undeniable. Some of this interest was no doubt generated by a reaction to Furlough Fridays, where groups such as Save our Schools and Hawaii Education Matters formed to pull parents and community members together to focus on public education. Page 4 of 19
However, in addition to this, community and family engagement in education has been a recent focus of established community-based organizations such as Faith Action for Community Equity, and local foundations such as the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and The Learning Coalition, as well as university-based organizations such as The Leaders for the Next Generation. While this growing interest in community and family engagement is not yet a fire, it is much more than a spark. It is real momentum that with attention and investment (both in energy and resources) can serve as the foundation for lasting educational change. It Is Sustainable
Below, we identify two different forms of community and family engagement in education. One form is centered on parent involvement projects that are activity-based and school-driven, while the other form is centered on parent leadership development and is co-driven by families, community members, and schools. While the first form tends to start with an activity such as getting parents to attend a student science show, the second form starts with an effort to foster meaningful conversations where parents are free to express their own concerns, and where opportunities for mutual learning and shared responsibility are created.
2. How Do We Implement Community and Family Engagement in Education?
The second kind of community and family engagement takes a relational approach. Among the strengths of the relational approach to community and family engagement in education is that it adds to the sustainability of school reform. Recent studies note that school and family partnerships created through this approach help to sustain the vision and momentum for education reform efforts through an enhanced sense of co-responsibility and co-leadership. Put differently, the unique outcome of the relational approach is that it builds community capacity, and ties this capacity directly to educational improvement. vi This is a form of public accountability that, in turn, generates greater sustainability in education reform; sustainability that can be “handed down” to each new generation of parents, whereas other types of parent involvement end when the students leave the school. Almost everyone we spoke with about education reform commented on the problem of implementation. Clearly, while raising public awareness about the importance of community and family engagement in education is fundamentally important, this alone is not enough. We need to identify and follow through on realistic ways to implement new initiatives.
The question is not whether we should pursue better community and family engagement in education, but how do we do it effectively. Researchers and
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practitioners have begun to show that at bottom, effective community and family engagement in education starts by fostering a process for authentic conversation between educators and community and family members. It is about building collaborative relationships that stand the test of time. It is about creating an atmosphere of shared leadership and shared responsibility between schools and families. And, as a result, answering the question of how do we implement this requires us to do more than talk about what a specific program will look like or who will pay for it. Through this investigation, it became clear that effective community and family engagement requires more than merely identifying a model program to borrow and to scale up here in Hawaii.
It requires us to first talk seriously about what it will take to get families and community members to the decision-making table. What will it take to get families and community members across the state energized to push for and insist on partnering with schools? How do we get community and family members to demand co-responsibility for the future of public education in Hawaii? We read a recent report that suggested that the public is insisting on a greater role in public education decision-making in Hawaii. We think that’s an overstatement. Perhaps a small minority of the public is insisting on a role. Many more of us don’t even see that as our role.
We must take this problem seriously. We cannot expect policy and programs focused on community and family engagement to succeed if community and “Relationships matter to family members are not supporting these participation.” efforts. Some call this a capacity problem or a problem of publicity. The research -Mark Warren, indicates that it is more accurately Harvard Graduate portrayed as a trust and power problem, or School of Education put differently, as a relationship problem. Hawaii’s community members and families are unlikely to engage with public education in any significant manner if they do not believe that they are going to be respected and listened to. From this perspective, communication is key. But it must be a two-way form of communication based on mutual respect. It must be aimed at forming authentic partnerships between schools and families. This is not publicity, but honest and meaningful conversation. It is not top-down, school-driven agenda promotion, but mutual learning and joint collaboration among families, community members and educators. Finally, effective implementation of community and family engagement in
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education takes seriously the idea that parents and community members bring concerns and aspirations regarding the educational lives of their children that are different from those brought by educators and school officials. And, it takes seriously the emerging evidence that model education reform programs that are borrowed and imposed on schools and families show disappointing results, when compared with programs that are rooted and grown from context-driven collaborative engagement. vii Recommendations 1. Focus on Relational Models of Community and Family Engagement Traditional versus Relational Successful initiatives come in a variety of different forms. Many are based on innovative tutoring initiatives, or on home enrichment support programs, or on classroom volunteering strategies, or even on improving the basic academic skills of parents so that they can help their children with homework. These efforts are important and for the purposes of this paper we will call them traditional in nature. Other community and family engagement initiatives focus less on the individual and more on an effort to form meaningful joint partnerships and to share accountability with parents and community members to address educational needs and concerns. We will call these relational in nature.
Table 1. A comparison of traditional and relational models viii Relational Joint Accountability Model Traditional School Driven Model Activity based Relationship based Parents as individuals Parents as members of a community Parents follow school agenda Parents as leaders and collaborators Workshops that provide information Training for leadership and growth School to parent communication Mutual exchange of relational power
We noted earlier that recent research has begun to show that relational models of community and family engagement in education that promote community capacity and public accountability have the potential effect of generating sustainability for specific education reform initiatives. Moreover, we also noted that research has shown that relational models of community and family engagement that build relational trust are a critical aspect of successful strategies for systemic education reform. Model Initiatives We highlight seven relational models of community and family engagement in this paper. Detailed program descriptions and contact information for Page 7 of 19
each of these initiatives can be found at the end of this document (see Model Program Descriptions).
The first initiative is the Boston Parent Organizing Network (BPON). BPON organizes and supports parents and families whose children are in the Boston Public School system. They focus on developing parent leadership and partnerships with other organizations. In 2008, BPON helped the school district create a new position called the Assistant Superintendent for Family and Student Engagement and BPON’s first director was appointed to it. The second is Parent Revolution which is an initiative based in Los Angeles. Its mission is to transform public education by focusing solely on what is good for kids. The initiative empowers parents to push for policy change through community organizing. Its four core elements are on: 1) shared accountability for education, 2) more money in the classroom, 3) more education choices for families, and 4) collaborating with unions and teachers on public education reform. Since 2009, Parent Revolution has led two large grassroots campaigns that have led to two new education laws.
Yet another model is San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College Program (K2C). K2C was launched late last year and is the country’s first universal children’s college savings account program. The city of San Francisco provides every entering kindergartener with a college savings account. Community-based foundations then match subsequent contributions from the student’s family. This program is a unique partnership between families, community organizations and government to find new ways to overcome the economic barrier to college education. The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL) has been highlighted by others in the field. Located in Kentucky, it offers a variety of programs designed to bring parents, teachers, community members, and school administrators together for training that helps them to effectively collaborate to raise student achievement. It was recently reported that the CIPL has trained over 1500 parents on how to partner with educators and community members to improve student learning.
The next model is the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) located in Chicago. LSNA has been studied by a number of researchers interested in community and family engagement in education, because it has managed to create a model parent mentor program designed to develop parent leadership both in neighborhood schools and in the community. This has led to a series of new programs and clearly documented improvement in student achievement.
The Camino Nuevo Charter Academy (CNCA) was started in August 2000 by a nonprofit community development corporation located in Los Angeles’
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2. Collaborate with Community-Based Organizations
MacArthur Park neighborhood. Since its inception CNCA has embraced Latino parents who previously felt ignored and alienated by school personnel. CNCA has organized itself around the culture of the surrounding “Rather than blaming each community and has designed the school other, teachers and families and its programs to go beyond the come together…as equal traditional boundaries of the school partners, to build trust and grounds and to directly foster form a relationship…Once a neighborhood development. relationship is formed, the partners are empowered, The last model we highlight is the finding accountability with Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project each other to make the (PTHVP) which is located in necessary changes to insure Sacramento. PTHVP is a partnership that students experience between faith-based community academic and social success.” organizations, a teacher’s union and a school district. It brings educators and -The Parent /Teacher families together as equal partners to Home Visit Project build trusting relationships where meaningful open communication about aspirations, experiences and strategies to improve student learning is fostered. PTHVP’s home visits are not “drop-ins” or “home environment assessments,” but rather appointments set between partners in education who are equally respected for their knowledge of the student and their expertise regarding his/her education.
In addition, there is growing evidence that well-established communitybased organizations can serve as effective “relational connectors” between schools and families, and thus may operate as a catalyst for education reform. x Organizations that are authentically rooted in community life bring a knowledge and appreciation of the culture and assets of community and family members. And, they may be able to more easily indentify where needs are not being met. Here, community-based organizations that have
There is some evidence that schools and school districts may not be able to initiate highly successful and sustainable relational community and family engagement work by themselves. ix Thus, educators should explore and exploit opportunities to collaborate with community-based organizations that have already successfully engaged with families and have developed trusting relationships with parents whose children are being served by public schools. Through such efforts, schools and school districts may also benefit from the social capital expertise of community-based organizations, which comes from years of grassroots organizing, collaborating and partnering with families and community members.
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consistently worked to build power for their community members offer the unique capacity of bridging “the gap in culture and power between parents and educators.” xi Finally, collaborating with strong community-based organizations will help school and family partnerships to corral the political capital needed to motivate officials to adopt new programs and policy recommendations. While relational community and family engagement in education is often characterized as a “ground up” or grassroots initiative, state advocacy and support can be extremely important in the success of such efforts.
3. Establish a Community and Family Engagement Intermediary xii
When fixing stagnant public sectors that have not evolved with changing circumstances, many cities and states are now developing intermediaries to fill leadership and advocacy roles. While Hawaii is unlikely to be able to afford multiple community and family engagement offices, it makes sense to establish a statewide community and family engagement intermediary. Such an intermediary could play a role in strengthening four channels for sharing and collaborating on community and family engagement in education: 1) the intermediary could work to link community organizations with schools, 2) link researchers and teacher educators with school/community/family partnerships, 3) link national and local foundations with school/community/family partnerships, and 4) link policy makers with school/community/family partnerships.
In addition to a growing interest in community and family engagement expressed by key community-based organizations in Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Education houses a Family Support Section and has a team of Parent Community Networking Centers. The Board of Education established a Department of Education Parent/Involvement Policy in 2001 and revised it in 2003. And, a variety of other organizations spread throughout the state such as Parents and Children Together, the Hawaii Parent Information and Resource Center, the Hawaii State PTSA, and many others are dedicated to the idea of enhancing the relationship between families and communities and the schools that serve their children. In addition, School Community Councils (and emerging Complex Community Councils) are working to provide parents and others an avenue for input into school level decisionmaking. What is missing is a statewide community and family engagement intermediary that could effectively work with these different organizations to foster, strengthen and maintain channels of information sharing and resource collaboration. Page 10 of 19
4. Develop Relevant Standards and Document Success
Finally, we recommend that the Office of the Governor directly oversee the intermediary. The intermediary must work to gain the trust of both educators and family/community members. This would potentially be made more difficult if the intermediary were placed under the Office of the Superintendent of the Department of Education, for example, where the impression would be that the intermediary answers to the DOE. Moreover, with the recent approval of the Hawaii Board of Education Amendment, the Office of the Governor is set to take a more hands on approach to public education in Hawaii and it can use its bully pulpit to raise awareness and interest in the issue of community and family engagement in education. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences looked at the evaluation practices of parent involvement programs. It found that the vast majority of these evaluation efforts were limited and poorly designed. And, it highlighted the need for “fully articulated programs that can be rigorously evaluated to determine what works.” xiii
Of course community and family engagement is not the only kind of education reform strategy that Hawaii will need to pursue in order to stimulate lasting, widespread education reform (we have included a short overview of other education reform strategies and related model programs in the Appendix of this document). Nor, is community and family engagement a short-term, quick fix approach to improving the image of public education in Hawaii. Rather, it is a longterm investment in a foundation for sustainable change in education. We urge educators, policy makers and community leaders who want to broaden and deepen family participation in schools to resist the temptation to charge forward with parent and teacher training sessions on family involvement, that very few people
Clearly, investment in evaluation must be a priority if we are to determine what works. And, evaluation processes for community and family engagement must be able to accurately assess the added value of partnership efforts for student academic performance. In doing so, more traditional categories such as student test score data, school climate, and level of parent participation should be examined. But, evaluation on engagement can’t stop there; it needs to go beyond the traditional categories. Research indicates that any measures used to evaluate success in relational community and family engagement need to take into account other factors such as the complexity of the change process, the context in which change occurs, the length of the time frame of change, and the importance of changes in community capacity. xiv
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This investigation has led us to believe that a focus on relational community and family engagement in education is right for Hawaii at this point in time. Research indicates that relational community and family engagement works to improve trust and confidence in public education and it works to raise student achievement. Through a process of collaborating with community-based organizations, promoting mutual trust, and fostering community capacity and public accountability, relational approaches have the potential to generate sustainable education reform in Hawaii.
attend. Seek out, instead, a process for honest and open conversation. Be patient and co-design for success from the very beginning.
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MODEL PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS Boston Parent Organizing Network (BPON) xv Overview: BPON’s mission is to organize, develop, and support parents and families who are marginalized by class, race, language, disability, and immigration status to work with and hold accountable the Boston Public Schools to provide an excellent education for all students. BPON is governed by a parent-led board of directors. BPON engages in local and city-wide campaigns and oversees the Boston Public School system’s stewardship of resources, assuring accountability, stability, sustainability, and growth. BPON also trains parents to be better leaders and organizers. Effectiveness: Through partnerships with other community organizations, BPON has accomplished a number of achievements, including, but not limited to: • Mobilization of families for budget hearings and consultations with Boston Mayor and Superintendent regarding the Boston Public School budget process. • Appointment of Michele Brooks, the first Director of BPON, as the Boston Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Family and Student Engagement. • Reactivation of the Boston Special Needs Parents Advisory Council. • Launch of a campaign to accelerate Boston Public School reforms that improve outcomes for English language learners. • Expanding “quality education” as the determining factor in school reprogramming. Parent Revolution xvi Overview: Parent Revolution’s mission is to transform public education rooted in what’s good for kids – not grown-ups – by empowering parents to transform their own children’s low-performing schools through community organizing. Parent Revolution believes that when it comes to education, each and every decision must be made as if it would literally affect someone’s own child. Parent Revolution’s core elements are as follows: • Accountability: All adults must be held accountable for student performance. The best teachers and principals must be recognized, those with room to improve must be targeted with professional development, and those who cannot improve must be removed. • More money in the classroom: Education must be fully funded, although districts must prove to taxpayers and voters that additional funding will be put to good use. • More parent choice: Parents should have more options and more access to highquality education options – whether they be outside of one’s district or a highquality charter school. • Pro-union, kids-first reform: Parent Revolution believes that parents and teachers can march together on reforming public education, reasoning that you cannot have a great school without great teachers. Effectiveness: Parent Revolution recognizes that public education in Los Angeles has failed. In Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second largest school district, 50% of students do not graduate from high school, and 90% do not make
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it to college. Parent Revolution has been successful in organizing two massive, successful grassroots campaigns. One of the campaigns was led to pass the LAUSC Public School Choice Resolution, which forces the district to actually compete against charter operators, groups of teachers, and other non-profits to run their own schools. The second campaign was organized to pass the Parent Trigger law, empowering parents at any failing school in California to transform their school simply through community organizing. Now, if 51% of the parents at a school sign a petition demanding change, the school district is required to transform the school using the school turnaround strategy (4 strategies are specified by the Obama Administration) selected by the parents. San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College Program (K2C) xvii Overview: Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Kindergarten to College program in San Francisco is the first of its kind in the U.S., and similar programs are expected to follow its lead. This program will provide every entering Kindergartener with a college savings account of $50-$100. Subsequent contributions from the student’s family will be matched by local non-profit organizations. This San Francisco program will begin gradually, beginning this past fall with 1,250 children (25% of incoming kindergartners). Full coverage is expected by the third year. The program will cost less than $200,000 in its first year. Despite the City’s $483 million budget deficit for the 2010-11 fiscal year, San Francisco has made this commitment toward education. “It really is about building aspirations in the hearts and minds of every child who enters the San Francisco public school system,” said Jose Cisneros, City Treasurer. “A chance to let every child know they have the opportunity and the equal opportunity to be successful like everybody else in our city.” Effectiveness: This reform effort is too new to measure its effectiveness. However, research performed by the Washington University in St. Louis Center for Social Development indicates that the mere presence of a savings account in a child’s name can overcome the financial barrier to college. xviii Also, evident by the results of Kenya’s Tap and Reposition Youth project, low-income youth doubled their savings after being given a formal account in their name. Reform efforts such as the Kindergarten to College program are necessary to compensate for the fact that our nation is on track to fall short of the demand for workers equipped with post-secondary education by 300,000 every year between 2008 and 2018. This program will also “level the playing field” by assisting youth who ordinarily would not be able to afford college to at least think of college as a realistic possibility. The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL) xix Overview: The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership offers a variety of programs aimed at bringing together parents, teachers, community members, and school administrators for training, information, and experiences that help them work as partners to raise student achievement. Parents in the program participate in three two-day sessions of substantive training in improving student achievement and parent leadership. The purpose of CIPL is to: educate parents about how to assess the progress of their
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children’s schools; inform parents on how to become involved as partners in improving these schools; motivate parents to help other parents become involved; and support parents after they become involved. Since its inception 13 years ago, CIPL has trained an army of more than 1,500 Kentucky parents on how to effectively advocate for highquality schools. Effectiveness: CIPL has been so successful that seven other states and Washington, D.C. have adopted it to help improve their schools. Parents who have participated in the program have gone on to engage themselves in school councils, local school boards, statewide parent advisory councils, and state boards of education. Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) xx Overview: The Logan Square Neighborhood Association’s mission is to convene a network of neighbors, schools, businesses, social service agencies, faith communities, and other organizations to collaborate for thriving communities in Logan Square, Avondale, and Lathrop Homes. Forty-five community institutions including schools, churches, block clubs, and agencies are members of LSNA, engaging more than 2,000 people in organizing and supporting programs. LSNA’s efforts include: lowering high school drop-out rates and increasing youth leadership; fostering parent engagement in neighborhood schools and creating community school partnerships; lowering home foreclosures and increasing access to affordable housing; helping children and families gain access to affordable health services; developing initiatives to make Logan Square a safer place to live while reaching out to families to prevent drug and alcohol abuse; and offering immigrants the tools to advance economically and become citizens. Effectiveness: LSNA directly serves over 7,000 adults and children. In the early 1990s, LSNA led a campaign against overcrowding in Logan Square Schools. As a result of this campaign, five new annexes and two new middle schools were built. LSNA’s Parent Mentor Program has been a success, assisting 900 parents in attaining their G.E.D.’s, seeking employment, and becoming active in the schools and the community. Since 1996, all LSNA elementary schools have experienced significant increases in student achievement, even while the demographics remained constant. Neighborhoods across the nation use LSNA as a replicable model for community leadership and development. Camino Nueva Charter Academy (CNCA) xxi Overview: Camino Nuevo Charter Academy was founded in August 2000 by Pueblo Nuevo Development, a nonprofit community development corporation in the MacArthur Park neighborhood west of downtown Los Angeles, one of the poorest and most densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Over the past 10 years, several organizations and businesses have created a thrift store, a worker-owned janitorial company, a nonprofit community development corporation, a charter school, free clinic and a pre-school. Together, these organizations are providing children with outstanding and enriched educational opportunities as well as revitalizing the urban neighborhood and making it a safe and healthy place to live. Camino Nuevo is built upon the pillars of social justice
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and parent involvement. Each school forms a Site-Based Council, comprised of parents, teachers, and school staff who meet regularly to discuss school issues and provide suggestions to the school principal. Each campus also has a parent coordinator to keep other parents informed and engaged. In partnership with community groups, Camino Nuevo encourages parents to get involved through: workshops and seminars on literacy, math, college preparation, and nutrition; the Latino Family Literacy Project; and community events including Family Math Night and Books and Pajamas Night. Camino Nuevo also invites parent involvement by hiring bilingual staff and embracing the Latino culture so that parents feel more welcome to become active members of the school. Parents are required to sign a contract to volunteer 15 hours to the school over the course of the year. Parent involvement is supervised by a full-time parent engagement coordinator. Effectiveness: Serving 2,000 students, Camino Nuevo High School ranks in the top 10 of Los Angeles Unified School District high schools. The K-8 charter has increased its API score for eight consecutive years. For the class of 2010, 96% of the graduating seniors met or exceeded the University of California A-G requirements. Camino Nuevo schools also received a Bronze Award from U.S. News Top High Schools. The Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project (PTHVP) xxii Overview: PTHVP is a partnership between Sacramento Area Congregations Together, Sacramento City Teachers Association, and Sacramento City Unified School District. It was created to address the cycle of blame that existed between parents and school personnel at several Sacramento schools where there was a history of low student achievement, high levels of poverty, and where high percentages of children entered school as English learners. Under PTHVP, teachers and families come together as equal partners to build trust and form a relationship where they can take the time to share dreams, expectations, experiences, and tools regarding the child’s academic success. The home visits are not merely “drop-ins,” but rather an appointment set between two willing colleagues in a setting where teachers do not have the institutional advantage. PTHVP staff members train teachers and parents and are available for consultation. Effectiveness: PTHVP has been invited to provide trainings and launch projects in 15 states to date, indicating that it has been growing in popularity. In its January 2009 article titled, “Research Spotlight on Home Visits: NEA Reviews of the Research on Best Practices in Education,” the National Education Association recognized PTHVP as an “inexpensive and easily replicated model of parent engagement that has been proven to end the cycle of blame between parents and school staff.”
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Two unique education reform efforts need to be mentioned: 1) U.S. Department of Education Initiatives and 2) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Education Strategy. The influence of each of these powerful education reform engines has spread across much of what is highlighted, below. Appendix: Other Themes and Profiles Federal Department of Education Priorities College and Career Ready Students Great Teachers and Leaders in Every School Equity and Opportunity for all Students Incentivizing Excellence Innovation and Continuous Improvement Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Priorities Teacher Effectiveness Standards, Curriculum, and Assessments Innovation and Networks Better Data
Other Family Engagement-Based Reform Initiatives • The Baby College: (http://www.hcz.org/programs/early-childhood) • Quitman Street Community School: (http://www.old.nps.k12.nj.us/quitman_st/index.htm) • Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition Improving Public Education Campaign: (http://www.northwestbronx.org/improveedu.html) Policy-Based Reform • Bellwether Education Partners: (http://bellwethereducation.org/) • The Century Foundation: (http://tcf.org/education)
Professional Development-Based Reform • The Broad Superintendents Academy: (http://broadacademy.org/) • Teach Plus: (http://teachplus.org/) Public-Private Partnership-Based Reform • Partnership for Education in Newark: (http://penewark.org) • Thrive by Five Washington: (http://thrivebyfivewa.org/) • Show Me Campaign: (http://showmecampaign.org/)
School-Based/Pedagogy-Based/Curriculum-Based Reform • Brockton High School Literacy Initiative: (http://www.brocktonpublicschools.com/page.cfm?p=84)
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• • •
Technology-Based Reform • Rocketship Education: (http://rsed.org/innovate/) • Khan Academy: (http://www.khanacademy.org/) • Open Learning Initiative (OLI): (http://oli.web.cmu.edu/openlearning/initiative) • Next Generation Learning Challenges: (http://www.nextgenlearning.com) • School of One: (http://schools.nyc.gov/community/innovation/SchoolofOne/default.htm) • Educause: (http://www.educause.edu/)
See Newsweek.com, “Why Michelle Rhee Isn’t Done with School Reform” (http://www.newsweek.com/2010/12/06/why-michelle-rhee-isn-t-done-with-school-reform.html). ii See The Atlantic.com, “Obama Advisor: ‘We Can’t Wait for Superman’ To Save Education” (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/obama-adviser-we-cannot-wait-forsuperman-to-save-education/63860/). iii See Annenberg Institute for School Reform, “Organized Communities, Stronger Schools: A Preview of Research Findings” (http://www.annenberginstitute.org/pdf/OrganizedCommunities.pdf). iv See Henderson and Mapp, “A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement”. v See Bryk, et. al., “Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago”. vi See Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, “Strong Neighborhoods Strong Schools: Successful Community Organizing for School Reform”. vii See Designs for Change, “The Big Picture: School-Initiated Reforms, Centrally Initiated Reforms, and Elementary School Achievement in Chicago” and Coburn, “Rethinking Scale: Moving Beyond Numbers to Deep and Lasting Change”. viii This table is based on one Mark Warren and his co-authors created in a recent article titled, “Beyond the Bake Sale: A Community-Based Relational Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools”. ix See Schutz, “Home is a Prison in the Global City: The Tragic Failure of School-based Community Engagement Strategies”. x See Warren, “Communities and Schools a New View of Urban Education Reform”. xi See Warren, et. al., “Beyond the Bake Sale: A Community-Based Relational Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools”. xii Special thanks to Chris Sturgis of MetisNet for sharing with me a draft of her soon to be released paper titled, “Positioning for the Possible: Investing in Education Reform in New Mexico” from which I borrowed the idea of an intermediary. xiii See Institute of Education Sciences, “Parent Involvement strategies in Urban Middle and High Schools in the Northeast and Islands Region” (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/REL_2009069.pdf).
The Leadership Institute: (http://www.northwestbronx.org/leadershipinst.html) Promise Academy Charter Schools: (http://www.hcz.org/programs/promise-academy-charter-schools) Blue Engine: (http://www.blueengine.org/)
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xvii (http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-05-28/news/21647911_1_college-savings-reduced-price-lunchprogram-fiscal-year). xviii See Center for Social Development, “The Role of Savings and Wealth in Reducing ‘Wilt’ between Expectations and College Attendance”. xix (http://www.prichardcommittee.org/CIPL/tabid/31491/Default.aspx) xx (http://www.lsna.net/index.html). xxi (http://caminonuevo.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84&Itemid=83) xxii (http://www.pthvp.org/history.html).
xiv See Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, “Strong Neighborhoods Strong Schools: xv (http://www.bpon.org/about-us/about-bpon). xvi (http://parentrevolution.org/?page_id=4).
Successful Community Organizing for School Reform”.
The Authors want to thank the following people for their assistance in the preparation of this report: Chris Sturgis, Jun Yang, Karen Ginoza, Drew Astolfi, Mary Weir, Lois Yamauchi, Matthew Lorin, Siera and Michelle Tanabe, Christine and Fiona Donnelly, Kaitlyn and Linda Ingram, Madisyn and Megan Young. Special thanks goes to Mildred Tanabe.
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