"Parents need to be engaged" – Perspectives from an A+ Washington supporter

Heidi is a parent advocate and a supporter of the A+ Washington Plan. She told us about the importance of open communication with teachers and parent engagement. As Heidi states in the video, “If a school is failing and people are speaking and demanding change, then things will start to happen.” Listen to Heidi’s perspective on education in the video below.


Watch more videos from other A+ Washington supporters. You can also learn more about how to have your voice heard on the education issues that are important to you on the A+ Washington website.

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  1. M Schumacher April 26, 2012

    If a parent isn’t checking the resources EVERY school offers to track student progress, then that parent is irresponsible. Parents need to hold themselves accountable for their children’s progress. 1 on 25 in a classroom is pretty little attention compared to 1 on 1 with homework. Stop passing the buck. Pick up the slack.

    • B Cohen April 26, 2012

      The online access offered to parents is only as helpful as the teachers make it. In my school district, teachers are contractually required to update the online grade system only eight times per year (mid quarter, end of quarter, etc.). That is not nearly often enough to let a parent know as soon as a child is struggling — by the time the parent (who is checking online every day, mind you) learns that there is a problem, the hole is often very deep. I am lucky that the vast majority of my children’s teachers update the system way more often, but this scenario has happened to more than one family I know of. If I were using your jargon, I would say: Stop blaming parents. Communicate better. The truth is, there is plenty of blame to spread around.

  2. M Schumacher May 4, 2012

    Well said, B Cohen. Those educators who only meet the requirements are merely doing their jobs.The rest of us work harder. I and a great percentage of public school teachers I know work ridiculously harder.

    As for the topic at hand, online access is only the quickest avenue for parents to do a spot check. Our district offers myriad other options, requiring teachers to keep them up to date at least weekly. Many of us update them every time we have update-able information, sometimes more than once a day. Again, though, I hold that the parent has primary responsibility to assure the student is taking advantage of the opportunity taxpayers afford. What is valued at home is generally translated to classroom engagement. Send me a kid well loved, well fed, well sheltered, and warmly clothed, with the expectation that education is a valuable opportunity to be taken seriously, and there’s only a minute chance that student will not be a huge success. When those parental responsibilities are abdicated, when family support fails, we make every attempt to mitigate the consequences.


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