Friday, February 13, 2009

Courier v. Councils

Last Saturday, while discussing the Governor's call for an overall review of KERA, a Courier-Journal took a quick shot at school councils, claiming that "Too often they are co-opted by those determined to see schools run as they see fit."

Ronda Harmon of the Kentucky Association of School Councils responds that:
On many occasions, your editorial page has rightly applauded the remarkable strides by schools since 1990. Councils across Kentucky are part of that success story. They are much more likely to be pushing schools and students forward than getting off track.
Ronda's full letter is here.

1 comment:

  1. As a past SBDM parent council member I would agree that not all councils work the way they were intended– but there are some that do. When councils are asked to plan for improved achievement for all students, good councils begin the task by looking for the root causes. They do this by asking questions, digging deeper into the data for answers, and examining current practices and trends. Based on those findings they are better prepared to plan for success.
    Perhaps we too would be better served if the Courier Journal’s Editorial Board could dig a little deeper and look at some of the possible root causes why councils may not be fully functioning as intended.

    To start, they could begin by getting the answers to these questions: How are schools/district; providing stakeholders with multiple opportunities to learn about the decision making process, the work of SBDM, and committee responsibilities; facilitating broad parent involvement by actively recruiting diverse membership; providing training and meeting times that are flexible and conducive to parent schedules and neighborhood locations; fostering a community of stakeholders who continually sustain and support each other in SBDM council and committee work; providing active meaningful roles for parents to serve on SBDM committees; and ensuring parents are treated as valued members of committees and council?

    Results from digging a little deeper may yield a great starting place to begin a meaningful dialogue rather than continue the blaming game on ineffective parents and co-opted councils that do nothing to serve the educational achievement of our children. carol edelen


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