US Secretary of Education Reported To Be Headed to San Francisco
Prepare for Tour Expected To Bring Arne Duncan to Town on Friday
U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, reportedly will be in San Francisco Friday to meet with Mayor Gavin Newsom, educators, community leaders and policymakers as part of a nationwide “listening and learning” tour to gather feedback on No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
So far, the Secretary has toured West Virginia and Michigan, meeting with students, community leaders and elected officials on how to reform education and how the federal government can advance reform.
The National PTA has expressed interest in participating in these tours. However, the Department of Education has indicated that the Secretary wants to hear the local or state perspective from groups who aren’t normally heard in Washington.
If this tour comes to your PTA school in California or if a PTA member is selected to participate, we would like the Secretary to hear how important parent engagement is to children’s academic achievement. Talking points that may be useful are provided below.
Information on when, where, which schools, and who will be selected is limited. There is speculation, however, that the next states targeted for this potential events include Vermont, Montana, Wyoming, New Jersey, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Utah and Alaska. Washington, D.C., also has been suggested as a possible event location.
Additional information on these tours is available in a U.S. Department of Education press release, which you can read here. Please keep us updated if you hear or know of any tours happening within your community. California State PTA wants you to be involved.
Please report any local scheduled events to the California State PTA as soon as possible:
916. 440.1985 ext. 311
Parent Engagement Talking Points
- Research shows that family engagement raises student achievement and is cost effective, regardless of socioeconomics.
- Please share a personal story about successful family engagement in your school or district.
- There are parent involvement provisions within NCLB: Any school receiving Title I funds has to develop written parent involvement policies; and school districts receiving more than $500,000 in Title I funds must set aside at least 1 percent for parent involvement activities.
- Unfortunately, most states are not implementing the parent involvement provisions within NCLB, and funds set aside for parent involvement are not supporting effective parent engagement.
- The federal government can help increase parent involvement by:
- Retaining and strengthening the parent involvement provisions within Title I;
- Adding a statutory definition and framework for effective family engagement to provide guidance to state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and schools;
- Increasing Parent Involvement allocation from 1 percent to 2 percent and establish allowable uses of funding; and
- Piloting local family engagement demonstration programs.
For more information, refer to the 2009 National PTA Public Policy Agenda, which you can find here.