Parents should be empowered to ensure their local schools live up to the promise to educate all children, witnesses told the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education at a hearing today. Specifically, they said parents should be equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to advocate for their children and be part of decision-making in the schools to ensure that both students and schools are successful.
"In order to effectively engage, parents must have access to meaningful information and data about their child's academic achievement," said Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), the senior democrat on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.
Research clearly supports parental engagement leading to better academic outcomes for children.
"Family engagement is an essential component of our education system and must be a part of our strategy going forward as we work to close the achievement gap and better prepare our young people to be the leaders of tomorrow," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). "The bipartisan Family Engagement in Education Act is just the kind of community- and family-based solution that could help schools and students across the country in these tough economic times. I'm grateful to Congressman Platts, the PTA and Dr. Fletcher for their support and leadership on this issue."
Parental engagement must include informing school leaders and teachers about effective engagement practices and it must include parents having access to meaningful and consistent data.
"We should empower parents with real, tangible tools to supplement student learning at home coupled with accessible, understandable, and actionable student and school data that serves to inform and support instruction and learning," said Dr. Maria Fletcher, President of New York State PTA.