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February, 2013


    February 28, 2013 by Tunya

    I prepared this site as a handy place

    • to record efforts in the cause of parent involvement in education

    • to pass on what might be of use to parents today

    I’ve been, by definition, a “reformer” as I’ve stood up for parents’ rights and duties in the education of their children — for 50 years. My involvement connected me with similar parents and groups around most of North America — our challenges are comparable. It’s been a dismal journey. Parents are still largely excluded.

    What is troubling today is that reformers are being fiercely attacked for their well-meaning efforts. Maybe there are different kinds of “reformers”, but I will maintain that parents seeking to be meaningfully involved with the education of their children should be respected and welcomed.

    This site will be devoted to keep parents in the picture, front and center.

    The THREE things to immediately bring forward are:

    1. Parent Rights and Their Children’s Education. This is a compilation of what we see as best practice to help parents advocate and get the best education for their children.

    2. Effective Schools Checklist. This was compiled in 1978 by Dr. Ron Edmonds of Harvard and has stood the testy of time as to validity. But it’s not being faithfully applied. Here is where parents can bring forward this material if their schools don’t already apply these principles.

    3. Home Education: the third option. I was active in the early stages of the home education movement in North America, with some association with John Holt and the Moores. This is the ultimate commitment some parents undertake on behalf of their children’s education.

    I will also do BOOK REVIEWS. These are the first two I will report on:

    01) Parental Involvement and the Political Principle: Why the existing governance structure of schools should be abolished, Seymour B Sarason, 1995

    02) So Little for the Mind, Hilda Neatby, 1953. (& reviewing her influence in the field)

    I will also deal with major THEMES and the first one will be the matter of SUBSIDIARITY. This was brought to my attention by articles on the anti-reform movement in the United States and the latest protest in Texas where Diane Ravitch, an education historian and a prolific “anti-reform” blogger, was a prominent speaker.

    Subsidiarity came up in one of the items from this story from the Washington Post “An Education Reform Warning for Democrats

    Jerry Brown, Governor of California, critical about top-down decisions from afar concerning curriculum standards and accountability testing, said:

    “This year, as you consider new education laws, I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. In other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students.
    Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured. I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work – lighting fires in young minds.”

    There is further amplification of “subsidiarity” in the comments section of this article. I, of course, see subsidiarity as including parents at the ground level as well.

    PARTICIPATION in PTP — Since this is all about parents passing on their wisdom I encourage comments, suggestions and questions through the contact form or COMMENTS. Names will not be published.