School Inequality Matters

Author: Mary Johnson, President
Parent-U-Turn
The 21st Century Multicultural Parent Strategies Handbook

As a parent living in the inner city, the 21st Century seems more like 1954. Our schools are more separate and unequal than ever. When I speak of separate and unequal it not just about divided color lines, but also divided opportunities. In decades past, companies used to draw a red line on maps around non-white neighborhoods where they refused to provide insurance. Today, my zip code has a metaphorical red line drawn around it and the children in my community are not provided with the educational resources they deserve. The 21st Century was supposed to bring more resources; instead we have gone back to Jim Crow.

Many schools districts serving primarily brown and black communities fail to hold high expectations for their students. Districts like LAUSD have refused to raise the graduation requirement from a D to a C average. There are higher standards in the state of California for restaurant. If a restaurant gets a D rating the health department would shut them down. The districts are sending the wrong messages to our students that it is okay to be below average in the 21st Century. Elected official blame budget cuts for this decision, yet they gave unions large raises and hired more of their consultant friends—funding that comes out of the backs of students. The students are the ones who generate the funds but very little money is spent on them. Roughly 85% of the education budget pays for personnel. It seems that elected officials believe that students learning start and stop with teachers.

Our schools need excellent teachers, principals, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, and other staff. The budget should support all of these workers. But we also need more than that.

In reality, learning happens outside of the classrooms too. Students need exposure to a variety of experiences, and that might be field trips that are aligned to classroom instruction. Most of our field trips are to the zoo for elementary students and museums for secondary students. Teachers very seldom take their students outside and conduct learning that is aligned or linked to classroom lessons.

Parents are tired of waiting for change. We feel like there is no real alternative for working parents outside of the public education system when our local public schools fail our children. This frustration has empowered parents to take things in their own hands for social changes. Many parents have turned to parent trigger laws to makes that difference. Parent Trigger laws allow parents to force districts to close down or change leadership in struggling schools. In the past I personally disagreed with this strategy. Now I understand the frustration of those parents and that simply waiting isn’t an option. When elected officials go back on their earlier commitment to raise the graduation requirement because they are afraid that the graduation rate will plummet, they try to hide that from the public. The State of California is now going to suspend the California High School Exit Exam or CASHEE. That test was based on middle school level math and English and high school students have from10th to 12th grade to pass, the test. The CAHSEE is another ways for checks and balances that allow parents to assert bottom up accountability. If, as education officials assert, the CAHSEE can no longer serve this function because it is not aligned to the new Common Core Standards, then parents need something else put in its place.

The failure to raise graduate standards and the proposed suspension of the Exit Exam will lead more students to enter the pipeline to prison. This mean our children of color would be no better off than the U.S. Supreme Court declared unanimously in 1954, that education must be provided to all “on equal terms.” Many of these changes are coming about because of lobbyists from the teachers’ Union. This has forced parents into partnership with billionaires who clearly have their own agenda—they would like to privatize public schools. As a parent, I disagree at first with parents trigger laws and I refused to go to see the Waiting for Superman movie. But I recognize that doing nothing isn’t an option and we have waited long enough. We can’t stand on the sideline any longer and be voiceless. We now understand that any real changes must come from the people. No one is going to ride in on a white horse and save our children. This is something we must do for ourselves; we can’t continue to allow our elected officials to sell out our students.

Parents and community members must take back ownership of our school and our community. When districts face important decisions, they always first seek out input/feedback from the trade unions. After they have made the decision, they inform parents about what they did, but they never seek our input. Many times at school sites we as parents have been told that this or that can’t be done because of the teachers’ union contract. When you are handcuffed by a union’s contract it is hard to do good things for betterment of students. Parents and students should be a part of he negotiation team on the contracts of teachers and others school employees. As a volunteer on several school campuses, I have seen that parents and principals are limited on they can do without checking with teacher union, because no one want to violate the contract and teachers rights. No one group should have that kind of control to stop progress. In the teacher contract there is not one word about children; it only speak about adult issues.

When I speak of teachers, I do not mean to make a blanket statement about all teachers. But too many teachers are too busy fighting NCLB and now the Common Core Standards instead of trying to implement new strategies. It would be awesome to see how it would play out if they used the same energy that they use to fight against these new laws to improve learning for our children. Teachers have become too comfortable and aren’t open for anything outside their comfort zone. We tell our student to be life learners; somewhere along the journey we forgot to remind teachers about being life learners. If we are going to improve and equal the playing field for all students, we must change our mindset about one fixed model of learning that addresses all students learning styles.

NCLB, had its problems but it did some things right. It called for parents to be an equal partner in their children’s education. Yet parents and community members in my community are being pushed out of decision making and not being treated with full regard. When we go to our neighborhood schools, we too rarely encounter a respectful and welcoming climate and a culturally sensitive and friendly staff.

It impossible to teach a child if you don’t see any value in their culture or background. Through my life experience working and volunteering on school campuses for the last 30 years, I have come to believe that inner city schools are designed for failure. The state makes more money available for failing schools than school that are successful in performance. There’re no incentives to improve schools; the more you fail students, the more money you get.

Another source of inequality is that teachers receive tenure after only two years. We all know that research states it take three to five years to develop quality teachers. There is no way that teachers with two years of experience should be labeled as an expert. They would not be seen as such in any professional field. The laws should require fives years of experience prior to tenure. Parents and community members should be a part of the tenure process. Their input, on topics such as how teachers outreach to parents for involvement, should be solicited through survey or interview.

This paper only addresses a small portion of the barriers and challenges of why school quality matters in communities of color. As if those barriers and challenges were not enough, we now have added Common Core Standards into the mix. In our community for the last 10 years we have built many new schools. The majority of our new schools weren’t wired for the internet, plus you have many older schools that still have to be rewired. This means schools in my community will be playing behind the 8 ball. Our schools will be playing catch up from the start. For example this last year our schools had a disastrous experience in their first attempt at computer-based standardized testing for the Common Core. We didn’t have enough computers or WIFI access. Many of our elementary and secondary students didn’t have any knowledge of simply keyboarding skills. The truth is that government should have rolled back the implementation date for another two years 2017 until school districts were equipped to move forward. This proved that our elected officials and researchers don’t know the reality of our communities and school. The real peoples that lived in those communities and the real children that attend those struggling schools are the true experts on what is needed to improve school quality but they are never invited to the table to share the solution. The truth is that we acknowledge that our schools in inner cities are at best dysfunctional.

Posted in 21st Parent | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Every Parent Wishes Teachers Knew

By Author Mary Johnson

The 21st Century Parent Multicultural Parent Strategies Handbook”

1. Happy parents make happy teachers.
Keeping parents happy is an extra assignment for teachers that do come with consequences. Unhappy parents can be barriers to teachers because of lack of communication and dialogue around students’ academic progress. Parents of urban students have various resources and experiences with schools. Some teachers have positive and some have negative experiences as students them self or engaging with school staffs. The need to please parents should be reflected constantly in every teacher’s thinking. We as parents know that teachers are not and cannot be perfect. But they can work very hard and collaboratively to continually get better.

2. Teachers are not perfect.
Parents have to cross their fingers wishing their child wouldn’t get the veteran teacher that hasn’t updated his/her skills to engage students with 21st Century teaching/learning methods. As a parent I felt nervous the night before my school year began, hoping and praying that my child would get a teacher that was prepared to take them to a new level of learning. I just wanted a teacher newbie or veteran teacher that could create an environment where students would be happy and inspire them to learn. It was never important to me how long they were a teacher but how they could inspire and motivate learning. All teachers, newbie or veteran, must earn parents’ and community’s trust. We as parents don’t just give people the benefit of the doubt, “you must earn it.”

3. Old ways of learning vs. new ways of teaching.
Many Students in the 21st Century are taught differently from how their parents were taught. Many parents think like teachers, that is, “It worked for me and I learned and am uncomfortable with changes.” We as parents and teachers are always comparing how it was when we were students attending school. Parents wish teachers would stay to the status quo more and less with the changes. Sometimes it’s hard for teacher to understand we need to gradually changing environment, this allow us to adjust and see the bigger picture for our students.

4. It’s okay for kids to fail.
Parents don’t want kids to fail, because they believe it is a reflection on them as parents. Yet we know that if our child doesn’t try, he/she has already failed. Every parent prays before seeing his/her child’s report card that there are no Fs. Society may think as parents you must not have helped your child enough or supported them in their learning, that something went wrong at home and not in the classroom. We don’t want teachers to have pity for our children but rather to hold them to high expectations and push them to all they can be, and if they fail they will get up and do it again. It is like riding a bike. In the beginning you fall but you keep on trying and after a while you eventually ride without falling down. We as parents want teachers to know that we want our children to earn the grades they get, and that grades must not be a result of sympathy for the children.

5. Be a good listener.
It can be hard for teachers to hear that their child is having a social or academic problem, because they don’t know the challenges and barriers of the community they are teaching in. I urge teachers to get to know the people in their school community. Know that every child and adult, myself as well, has life challenges that will impact the student’s learning. It should never come down to thinking that ‘it’s teachers against parents’. Many times it becomes a battle and the only loser is the student. We must work together to benefit the child’s academic success.

6. Our child’s homework reinforces what is learned.
We wish that teachers understand that they’re no more “Leave It To Beaver” families in certain communities, where the mother stays home and fathers go to work. Homework is something that a child did in school and came home to reinforce learning. That is not how it is playing out at home in inner city schools. Most children come home with no understanding of the assignment and the parents have to take hours to reteach some things that the child should have already have knowledge of. It is not an excuse that parents who might be working two jobs just to make ends meet can’t or don’t have the time to reteach something that should have been learned within that school day. It is not good modeling or good acceptance of responsibility to hear teachers pass the blame to parents as to why their child didn’t do their homework

7. Stay engaged and involved after school hours.
Teachers want to schedule back-to-school night on teachers’ times and at times not convenient for parents. Most back-to-school nights in my community run from 3pm to 5pm. Other school events are scheduled around when the is teacher available, not the parents. The word night should be the key word to engage parents. Parents work to make a living and most individuals don’t get off work until 5pm or later. The meeting should be scheduled in the evening from 6pm to 7:30 pm if you really want to engage parents. I always wonder what if the meeting were held on Saturday, who would attend. I would put my money on parents and a limited number of teachers. If meetings are tailored to when the community is available and that is most likely well after school hours you will get a greater turnout. You must meet the parents and community half way. I urge teachers to meet or call parents before progress report or report card time.

Posted in 21st Parent | Leave a comment

College Readiness Strategies for Senior In California

Author: Mary Johnson, Parent-U-Turn

I imagine many of you need helped with last minute recommendations and school reports as well as assisted kids with their applications. We did both. Here are some tips for people working with seniors.

Seventh semester grades really do count. First semester senior year grades count for many students applying to four year colleges and for scholarships. Students need to do the best they can. Please remind any student who got accepted early to a college to keep grades up as falling grades can risk a spot in college. Remind Cal State and UC bound students that Ds and Fs in A-G courses senior year will knock them out because there is no summer making up of classes.
Finish those last minute applications. Many colleges are still accepting applications. More than half of the state universities are accepting colleges as are many private colleges with deadlines ranging from January 15 to July 1. The less competitive the college, the later the application deadline may be.

Send all test scores. If you haven’t sent your test scores to colleges, it’s not too late. You can even update scores on the UC application. But you must send out OFFICIAL scores from the College Board or ACT. UCs-only send to one official score report to one UC and that UC will send to rest. Cal States-CSU Mentor for SATs and ACT Score Manager for ACT. Private colleges must each receive a copy.

It’s time to apply for financial aid. Students can now apply for 2015-2016 financial aid. That means FAFSA, CSS profile, Cal Grants, and CA Dream Act. Remind students, the earlier they apply, the more likely they will be to qualify for loans, grants, and scholarships. Offer workshops to help explain process to students. Don’t send AP scores until you decide which college to attend.financial aid

FAFSA- Please direct students to the correct site. The private one often comes up first in searches. http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. Remember, students attending CA schools must submit their FAFSA by March 2, 2015. Other colleges have other deadlines. The federal last deadline is June 30, 2015. Community college students in CA may apply by September 2, 2015
CSS Profile-Remember, many private colleges require the CSS profile available through the College Board. Each college has its own deadline. Even if students took the ACT, they will have to make an account through the College Board to set up this profile.

They will also need to send reports to colleges at their own expense and have access to a credit card. The advantage of the CSS profile is that there is a non-custodial version and room for explanations that the FAFSA does not provide. https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp
Cal Grants-Cal Grants are due March 2, 2015. Make sure to do entire class presentations about Cal Grants. http://www.calgrants.org/

CA Dream Act-This application takes the place of the Cal Grant application for undocumented students. It opened January 1, 2015 and is due March 2, 2015 https://dream.csac.ca.gov/. Starting January 2015, they also can apply for state loans as the state legislature started a new fund for them.

Placement tests are here. Remind your students attending public universities to check with placement tests. Cal State students need to take placement tests if they don’t waive out through test scores. If students are not sure, have them check. http://www.ets.org/csu/about. They need to register to take the tests-for English and Math-online and take them at the closest CSU to where they live. There are practice tests to prepare them. Please help kids prepare. A year in remediation often prevents kids from even making it to their 2nd year. And now the Cal States are requiring summer remediation for students to start in the fall.scholarships
Scholarships abound.

Please remind students to apply for scholarships. They need to be persistent. They can use essays over and over apply. They can’t get the free money unless they apply. There are local, private, regional, non-profit, and national scholarships. I got one from my state senator. Students need to be creative. One good place to start is the scholarship page of colleges, as many have merit scholarships available.

Posted in 21st Parent | Leave a comment

Things Parents Can Do At Home To Support Common Core

What Parents Came Do At Home
Mary Johnson, Parent-U-Turn

1)Talk about books, especially the great ones.
The Common Core says that children need to read “books worth reading.” We all know that reading anythings is great for kids, but they should be exposed to great writers and challenging content too. You must lead by example!

2) Ask your children questions about what they’re reading.
One of the key shifts with the Common Core is its requirement that students (both orally and in writing) cite evidence from the texts they’re reading to make an argument. Try asking questions that require your kids to talk about the content of the books they’re reading. For example, have them give reasons why a favorite character was heroic or clever or forgiving.

3) Push your kids to read nonfiction.
Reading fiction is still a critical and wonderful part of learning to read, but the Common Core elevates the importance of nonfiction, or “informational text,” as the authors of the standards call it. Does your daughter love plants? Get her a book about garden and let her dig deep into a topic that interests her. You might have a future scientist in your house!

4) Talk math with your kids.
The Common Core requires students to learn important math “reasoning” skills in addition to learning their multiplication tables and memorizing formulas. Parents: Try talking to your kids about mathematical practices they use every day. Have them estimate time and distance, compare the value of products in a store, or calculate the tip when you’re out to dinner.

5) Encourage your kids to write, write, write.
The Common Core State Standards emphasize the fundamental link between reading and writing. Writing to persuade by citing evidence is a key 21st-century skill. Encourage your children to keep a journal or blog, or write a letter or an e-mail to a friend..

Posted in 21st Parent, Hot Topic, In the news | 10 Comments

What Every Parents Need To Know About New Common Core :

Here’s why:
Mary Johnson, Parent-U-Turn

1) The standards are the same wherever you go. Common standards mean that students in USA are learning the same thing as students across the country. Students moving into or out of their state will have a smoother educational transition because learning goals will now be the same across states.

2) They’re modeled on success. The Common Core are aligned to international standards from the highest achieving countries. This means our students will be well prepared to compete both nationally and internationally.

3) College and career ready is the name of the game. All students graduating college and career-ready is the goal of the CCSS. These standards are designed to prepare students for success in whatever they choose to do after graduation.

4) Real life is really important. What students learn in school should be directly related to what they’ll be required to do once they leave. The Common Core places a strong emphasis on reading informational and technical texts to prepare students for the demands of college and the workplace.

5) College should not begin with remediation. Too many students entering universities and community colleges require remedial classes in English and Math. The CCSS are designed to make that a problem of the past by fully preparing students for college-level coursework.

6) Increased access to learning resources. Common standards mean that learning resources and teaching and learning materials can be shared across states.

7) 21st century skills for 21st century jobs. These standards will prepare our students for career success in the rapidly changing world of work.

Posted in 21st Parent, Hot Topic, In the news | 861 Comments

2013 November College Readiness Tips for Teachers and Other College Advocates

1. Help students with their state university applications. In California, the Cal State and UC applications came online October 1. Both must be submitted by November 30. The Cal States can be submitted October 1-November 30, while the UCs can be submitted November 1-30. Both applications have students self-report their course and grades, so they need access to their most current transcripts. Please help them with their application completion and calculation of GPAs for the Cal States. Other public university systems are all online. Help students!!!

2. Encourage seniors to apply for EOP and other support programs. These programs provided amazing support for low-income students throughout the admissions, college readiness, and college survival process. The Cal States have a separate EOP application with several short responses and two required recommendations. As space is limited, have students apply as early as possible. http://www.csumentor.edu/planning/eop/. On the UC application, students just have to check that they want to be considered for EOP. Inform students about college application fee waivers. Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch qualify for fee waivers for most college applications. The Cal States and UCs allow students to apply to four of their campuses for free. Private colleges accept NACAC or College Board fee waivers or will waive fees if counselors, teachers, or students request them for students. http://professionals.collegeboard.com/guidance/applications/fee-waivers. Undocumented students qualify for fee waivers for most colleges, including the CAL STATES for the first time. Sadly public colleges in Arizona and some southern states ban undocumented students from applying or getting aid.

3. Hold college application and college essay workshops before, during, and after school. Your students need help with their essays. These essays make them pop for college admissions officers who are desperate for your students. Encourage grade 12 teachers to make these essays requirements and provide students with a variety of brainstorming, drafting, and revising strategies. Help students read great samples and see ways to use their essays more than once. Remind seniors of upcoming standardized tests. Yes, students can still take the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests. They can qualify for two fee waivers per test. Encourage them to keep trying as their scores usually go up. See below for test registration dates and deadlines.

4. Help students learn more about colleges by attending college and non-profit events in your area. Colleges are in your area right now. Find out where they are or take your students to a college fair. If your high school doesn’t have a college night, perhaps you can crash one at a local high school in your area.

5. Many colleges are still hosting fly-in programs for under-represented students. LA Cash for College, for example, is coming up in November. http://www.lacashforcollege.org/home.html NACAC has traditional and performing and visual art college fairs around the country. http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/FallNCF/Pages/default.aspx

6. Continue to encourage students to research colleges online. Colleges want your students. But students need to apply to match colleges. College Green light is hosting a College Marathon on October 12, 2013. http://www.collegegreenlight.com/blog/. You University offers great video tours of colleges. http://www.youniversitytv.com/ Take advantage of College Week Live. This free website offers amazing webinars and workshops for students applying to college. http://www.collegeweeklive.com/

7. Write great letters of recommendation. Please write recommendations that make your students pop. Follow our Into-Through-Beyond approach so that you can help colleges see why these students belong on their campuses. Give details about their academic performance if you’re a teacher. Highlight their leadership and initiative if you’re a counselor. If you can’t remember or just don’t know them, have them submit detailed brag sheets. These letters can make or break an admissions or scholarship decisions. Please, write and submit your letters online.

8. Connect with current college students. Keep ongoing contact with your graduates. Ask these students to write tips for your students and post them around the classroom and college center. Ask them to visit during their fall visits home.

9. A PLEA…Help homesick college freshmen. We send our students away, and in October they begin to get very homesick. Their parents often can’t visit them, and they are beginning to struggle, at times, with their workload. So please keep in touch with freshmen. Send them care packages. Or just FB message or text them. They need your ongoing support.

10. Test Deadlines

SAT/SAT Subject Tests (http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/sat-reasoning/register/test-dates)
• Nov 2 (Oct 18 late registration). Listening part of foreign language tests offered.
• Dec 7 (Nov 8 registration)
• Jan 25 (Dec 27 registration)
ACT Tests (http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html)
• Dec 14 (Nov 8 registration)

Posted in 21st Parent, Hot Topic, In the news | 576 Comments

LCFF In California Kill Majority Of Parents Voices In Decision-Making Roles:

Mary Johnson, President
Parent-U-turn
I am a very concerned parent. By one stroke of a pen, a new state law, the ‘Local Control Funding Formula,’ single handedly expels thousands of key stakeholders from the educational planning and decision-making table.

As a parent advocate for educational equity, I have fought for more than two decades to make sure that all California children receive a quality education and that all California parents have a meaningful say in shaping this education. Today, I see signs of progress on the first count, due to new approaches to funding California public schools. But on the second count, inclusion, I am shocked that some parents will not be fully included in this new reform. This reversal in course on parental involvement worries me because I know that energized parents are the key to all educational improvement.

After several years of having our children’s education harmed by painful budget cuts, parents like me are pleased to see new funds flowing into our local public schools. I am particularly pleased that Governor Brown and his allies decided this year to direct additional funds to schools with the greatest needs. Under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), districts serving (1) the highest proportion of English Learners, (2) low-income students, and (3) foster youth will receive a substantial boost (up to 35%) to their base funding from the state.

This is my concern. While LCFF calls for districts to consult with parents on how these additional funds will be spent, which is laudable in principle, I am very concerned that the state’s plans for implementing this principle do not fully include all groups of parents, and thus key stakeholders that have traditionally had a seat at the education planning will not be part of the process.
According to LCFF, Districts are supposed to consult with parents about how these new funds will be spent The big question, however, is who will district representatives consult with? The answer is in the law itself: At the district level, one group only will be consulted: the District English Language Advisory Council (DELAC); and at the school site level, only the School Site Council (a general advisory group) will be consulted. As unbelievable as that may sound, no other parent groups need be consulted. This expressly disenfranchises countless thousands of parents that have historically been a routine part of this process. This is wrong, and a serious reversal of well-established public policy. Simply put, in one fell swoop, decades-long, hard-fought inclusion has been replaced with old-style exclusion. ALL parent stakeholder groups need to have their voices heard. In my own community, African American parents and many Latinos are English speakers. However, there is nothing in the law that requires districts to hear from them! In the Los Angeles Unified School District, where I live, broad-based community inclusion has been standard practice for many, many years. Parents representing all manner of needs, ethnicities, languages, backgrounds, neighborhoods, etc. have routinely participated in the planning, formation and implementation of programs and curriculum, with great benefits to the children and their families. Under LCCF, this has come to a screeching halt.
LCFF needs to promote moving forward, not backsliding, and reinstate/include all significant stakeholders in the planning process.

The District Advisory Council needs to be reinstated; a Foster Care Advisory Council needs to be added; a Special Education Advisory Council has to be part of the process; and other advisories must also be included as fit unique individual district and school site needs.
It is troubling to me that at a time when funds are increased, parent involvement is decreased. Why? A district trying to fulfill the broad principles behind the law wouldn’t seek to include parents beyond the D-ELAC.

Not only is the policy public policy reversal under LCCF a real shame in human terms, it is also a gigantic slap in the face to those of us who have labored tirelessly for decades to bring everyone into the fold and improve education for all, regardless of color, creed or anything else. LCCF reverses well over 50 years of state and federal public policy and, if not corrected, will have serious negative impacts on student achievement as well as community commitment and relations.

All stakeholders need to be back at the table.

The big question that still looms in the balance will the LCFF and Local Schools District share the decision-making with parents and community.

Posted in 21st Parent, Hot Topic, In the news | 25 Comments

Why Parents Should Support Common Core Standards:

Here’s why:

The standards are the same wherever you go. Common standards mean that students in all States are learning the same thing as students across the country. Students moving into or out of States will have a smoother educational transition because learning goals will now be the same across states.

They’re modeled on success. The Common Core are aligned to international standards from the highest achieving countries. This means our students will be well prepared to compete both nationally and internationally.

College and career ready is the name of the game. All students graduating college and career-ready is the goal of the CCSS. These standards are designed to prepare students for success in whatever they choose to do after graduation.

Real life is really important. What students learn in school should be directly related to what they’ll be required to do once they leave. The Common Core places a strong emphasis on reading informational and technical texts to prepare students for the demands of college and the workplace.

College should not begin with remediation. Too many students entering universities and community colleges require remedial classes in English and Math. The CCSS are designed to make that a problem of the past by fully preparing students for college-level coursework.

Increased access to learning resources. Common standards mean that learning resources and teaching and learning materials can be shared across states.

Posted in 21st Parent | 68 Comments

I Have Just Read /Great Book

Follow Author Mary J on Twitter at Mary [email protected]
Below please find the links to my new book, “The 21st Century Parent Multicultural Leadership Handbook..” It is a book about the relationship between parents and teachers. Enjoy! Mary Johnson
Johnson The 21st

Posted in 21st Parent | 759 Comments

Welcome to Parent U-Turn Online.

Parents Making A Difference In Their School Community.

Please use the information and resources to make a difference within the schools and communities so our children will get quality opportunities to learn and excell. Our goal is to inform and equip parents with the necessary tools to encourage their children as students, and to play an active role in the schools and their neighborhoods.

Who We Are

Since 1999, the Parent-U-Turn has provided researched-based programs grounded in best practices of parent involvement in schools for Los Angeles County School Districts. The PUT is a professional development program that focuses on developing and sustaining parent leadership in schools. Its programs are embedded in the belief that parent’s:

Knowledge can assist in school progress
Social, cultural and economic backgrounds are strengths
Strengths can assist schools in making informed decision that will make schools a better place for all students

This project brings parents of diverse ethnic backgrounds together to share their expertise and to experience interactive California Curriculum Framework presentations by the Parent-U-Turn. Parents have an opportunity to dialogue with principals, visit classrooms, and explore assessment practices. The participants then design action plans to implement change at their local school sites. Parents join educators as a necessary part of professional development that will improve schools for all children.

The PUT partners with schools and local districts to improve parent involvement and student outcomes in low performing schools. The PUT also contracts with schools to custom design parent leadership development programs that meet the needs of their particular parent population.

The overall outcome goal of the PUT is to enable parents to acquire: the knowledge, effective skills and strategies to significantly increase and sustain parent involvement and parent leadership in schools.

Posted in 21st Parent | 1,599 Comments