I'd suggest several steps for that effort.
Right now, spread the word about what's coming. In newsletters, PTA meetings, and elsewhere, it's time to talk up the pending change. As a parent, there are two features of the new standards that strike me as the most important. First, we will see a much more concrete statement of what their students should be able to do as they complete each level of education. Second, we can see where work at each level is heading: students who move through each level of the standards will finish high school be equipped for college-level work and ready to succeed in jobs with a future.
Soon, start designing tools for parents to explore the standards when a final edition is released:
- For starters, the documents for each grade should be available on an accessible, widely publicized website.
- Second, examples matter. Right now, the English/language arts draft does a good job of displaying what sort of work students should be able to read at each level. The mathematics draft, though, could use clearer illustrations of the work students should master. If those examples are not built into the final edition, expert teachers should construct them quickly.
- Third, organize it all as activities that can work at PTA meetings, school socials, and other events, and as displays that can catch a parent's eye on the way into the building. Puzzles, checklists, posters, and videos can all be ways to draw parents into the discussion..
And, this fall, make the standards central to parent activities. Our new expectations are the right centerpiece of all the start-up activities of a new academic year, from registration to home visits and open houses. They should get the spotlight at multiple school board, school council, and PTA or P.T.O. meetings.