Tagged “Parent And Family Engagement”
With more states adopting the Common Core State Standards, it can be overwhelming for U.S. schools and teachers to consider "adding" anything else. But character education isn't about adding, it's about integrating with all that you already do. In a new position paper from whole child partner Character Education Partnership, authors Kristin Fink and Karen Geller make the case that the Common Core State Standards are good for education, but Common Core integrated with character education is even better.
Family and community engagement is vital to creating successful schools and communities. The connections between these entities—when built on relationships, listening, welcoming, and shared decision making——can have multiple benefits for students, including higher grade point averages and test scores, better attendance, better social skills, increased motivation, and improved behavior. In addition, these connections also help to address many important nonschool factors, such as community health, safety, and affordable housing (Ferlazzo, 2011). Every day throughout the country, school and community partnerships are making great progress in helping students succeed—and ultimately achieving their goal of helping young people become vital, contributing members of society.
Today, as we look at the importance of parental involvement in education—as part of American Education Week's Parents Day—it is important to consider the role parents play in the Common Core State Standards' success. Like most other education initiatives, the Common Core standards will need a team of committed individuals, starting at home with the parents, to ensure its success. The Common Core standards, developed by educators and experts using research and lessons from top-performing countries around the world, describe skills and knowledge children need to be successful in our quickly changing world, including the ability to think creatively, solve real-world problems, make effective arguments, and engage in debates. Parents who value education should embrace the Common Core because their children will be challenged like never before. However, those parents who fail to get involved in their child's education may see their children struggle under the new standards.
This week—November 18–22—whole child partner National Education Association, along with partners National Parent Teacher Association, American Association of School Administrators, National School Boards Association, American School Counselor Association, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, will observe American Education Week.
It's hard to believe that the trees are just about absent of leaves and the school year is well under way. As a parent of a 3-year-old, I spend time talking about the change of seasons as we listen to the sound of the leaves as they crunch beneath our feet. My husband and I take any opportunity that comes our way to explain the world around our son to help prepare him for his future in school and life. In essence, this is a nice comparison to the intent of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
New one-page profiles of the 2013 National Blue Ribbon schools highlight each school's mission, demographics, culture, and goals.
The 286 schools—210 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 53 high schools, and one K–12 school—represent promising ideas in different settings, from rural areas to major cities. Schools were recognized in one of two categories: Exemplary High Performing, based on overall academic excellence, or Exemplary Improving, grounded in improving student achievement. Now in its 31st year, the program celebrates schools that serve as admirable examples of the United States' vision and commitment to education.
ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. Recently, the ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll sought to develop a short list of useful tasks for parents to implement in their daily routine to enhance what is being taught in the classroom.
"Educators need to prepare kids to be career and college ready, but they also need to prepare them for their present world. The Common Core State Standards set out to do that. They're not perfect, but they are a starting point" (Peter DeWitt).
The standards are not a curriculum. Standards are targets for what students should know and be able to do. Curricula are the instructional plans and strategies that educators use to help their students reach those expectations. Central to a supportive school are teachers, administrators, and other caring adults who take a personal interest in each student and in the success of each student. Join us throughout November as we look at how we are designing course content, choosing appropriate instructional strategies, developing learning activities, continuously gauging student understanding, adjusting instruction accordingly, and involving parents and families as partners to support our students' success.
A whole child approach to education is essential to realizing the promise of the standards. Only when students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged will they be able to meet our highest expectations and realize their fullest potential.
As we wrap up the month looking at education for our youngest learners, there are many pieces of the equation to grapple with. Like most of you reading this, I cringe at the politicization of education issues that we often see online, on TV, or in other media formats. After all, there is no magic wand to wave for our systematic education woes. On the other hand, there is overwhelming research that shows early education and intervention work wonders on preventing bigger issues down the road.