Parent engagement matters most for student success Education series: Yvonne Johnson and Chandra Pitts /Delaware Online
When parents and families are engaged in their children’s education, the outcomes are significantly better. Virtually all parents and families want to be involved and supportive. The challenge is to put engagement into practice, but that is not always easy. Engagement requires time, effort, and knowledge of how to positively influence the education of your child. For some, engagement means heading up the PTA, baking cookies for the school fundraiser, volunteering during the school day, or chaperoning class trips. Yes, that is engagement.
However, direct engagement means working with your child at home and representing your child’s interest in a very complex public education system. Engagement also means giving a voice to the interests of all children. Engagement is particularly difficult for low-income families in which parents, or a single parent, work several jobs, work overtime, balance competing demands with limited resources, have limited or no transportation to reach their child’s school, and struggle just to keep their family safe and secure.
For all the challenges, nothing that can be more influential in a child’s education or in the overall success of a school than the active engagement of parents and families who give voice to the interests of all children and actively support the efforts of educators.
So now we know the layers of involvement and engagement. And the facts remain, no matter what school district your child attends you lack of involvement and engagement has the most direct impact on your child’s academic success. Wilmington Christina students will do no better at the hands of the Red Clay Plantation. If Wilmington’s Christina parents don’t have the will or grit to take back Christina they won’t be effective in Red Clay. Red Clay has failed many Wilmington children for years! STOP THE PRESSES WAIT!!!!!!!!!! Sorry Mr. Matthews that comment was a bit unfair and may suggest Red Clay teachers are failing! No the case! Red Clay administration has failed and sadly the school board hasn’t fully grasped the fact that the super serves at their pleasure. What plan has the super ever brought before the board to address the inequalities of Red Clay’s Wilmington resident middle and high school students? NONE. If new suburban elementary schools and the expansion of Brandywine to grade eight was required to comply with Neighborhood Schools Act why would adding traditional middle and high school services in the city? Wait, I remember the side-bar! Suburban parents won’t support capital referendums to build new schools in Wilmington.
We have never known a more important time for parents, students, and families to unite and raise their voices in support of the efforts now underway to strengthen Wilmington education. The proposals from the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission need and deserve voices of support from parents and families—not only in the city but also throughout New Castle County and Delaware.
Coded message!!!!!!!! “Raise their voices in support and WEIC deserve voices of support”. In other words, put the blinders on and filter-out the naysayers! Ladies if this is an issue impacting New Castle County why not go back to a one county school district? Marl my words now! Putting Christina’s Wilmington children under the care of the Red Clay Plantation is a big mistake that will see referendums every three years and the result will be the same and data intentional skewed! If we’re going to advocate for all of Delaware’s public education it must start with reducing class sizes by adding more teachers and paraprofessional.
All parents and families have a stake in the success of these efforts. And the stakes are high. The success and failure of public education in Delaware and its largest city is impacting every area of life for our entire community.
If true we is the call to end social promotion?
Test scores do not capture how well our education system is working. Rather, the real indicators are long-term socioeconomic factors that impact us all: High rates of crime, violence, poverty, and drug use are further compounded by the lack of livable-wage employment opportunities
And the success stories coming out of poverty pretty much all have the same common denominator, thank you mom for being my rock and pushes me to learn. You can’t force a child to learn! You can only inspire and ensure they not be subjected to social promotion. For the last two generations, many students were handed an empty high school diploma and parents cheering at graduation are clueless to the lie!
The school drop out rate in Wilmington is 60 percent, and nearly 130 Delaware children are expelled from school annually. These issues are far reaching
Where is that data listed in the official Delaware Department of Education’s High School Dropout Report? The 2013-2014 dropout rate for black high school students is 3% statewide. There were 515 students listed for all of New Castle County. New Castle County represented 63.3% of all dropouts state wide. The fact is, there is no data in the state report indication the dropout rate for those student residing in Wilmington. Furthermore, there is no data at the district high school level indicating race. Red Clay school board refusing to provide a more comprehensive report on individual high schools.
I don’t doubt the 60% figure however, what percentage of those living in Wilmington with high school diplomas are unemployed. “The unemployment rate among African Americans with high school diplomas and no postsecondary education was 15.9 percent, while that of similarly situated whites was 8.4 percent. Finally, the unemployment rate of African American college graduates was 6.9 percent, while the unemployment rate among white college graduates was a mere 3.9 percent. ” Sounds like just being black puts you on unequal footing!
The goal of public education is to make sure that every student has a chance to excel, both in school and in life. Education is not “the great equalizer” when schools serving low-income students receive fewer resources, face greater difficulties attracting the best teachers and are ill equipped to meet the diversity of student needs.
So we can agree Red Clay puts greater emphasis is meeting the demands of more affluent suburban parents than that of high poverty Wilton School? “Attracting the best teachers” Boy isn’t that a slap in Dan Rich’s face! The U of D has been proving many of Delaware’s public school teachers! We have amazing young individuals coming into Red Clay schools with dreams of making a difference. But they go into battle with limited resources and are told to suck it up! Their referrals re: students in need of extensive evaluations end up waiting months and fall further behind. But in the meantime teachers are ask to do their best until reinforcements come! Students and lack of parental involvement isn’t burning teachers out but rather the inability of administrators and school board’s ability to send tangible help. Case in point, Red Clay’s implementation of inclusion transition.
As parents, family members, and community partners, our role is to speak up to ensure the highest student outcomes possible. We need to raise our voices for children throughout Wilmington and Delaware. A key component of the commission’s proposals for change is focused on strengthening parent and family engagement.
Red Clay eliminated their district level Title 1 Parent Advisory Board because those parents were successful in exposing misuse of federal funds whereas Red Clay had to payback and rubber-stamping names if Title parents on the Consolidated Grant Application participation assurances subjected to Provision J. Jack Markell put a code red on the Delaware Parent Advisory Council because certain minority members questioned his education agenda. Red Clay went with a district-wide parent involvement committee representative of all NCLB sub-grants and they used their annual event as the means to ensure they were meeting the letter of the law re: Required Title 1 Annual Meeting specifically for Title 1 parents. Red Clay and Markell failed to follow federal law Title 1 Section 1118 now eliminated via rewrite of NCLB / ESEA. PTA is not the official voice of all parents! PTA has been too pro Markell over the years to be valid! Why wasn’t Jea Street invited to be on the WEIC? Where was the NAACP?
We believe that accomplishing this is critical to all other changes. We are committed to reaching out to parents and family members in Wilmington and beyond to help them become more engaged and active agents for the improvement of public education for all Delaware children.