From a newly revised funding formula to new standards for teaching and learning, California’s schools are undergoing historic changes.
IN TIMES OF CHANGE, OUR COMMITMENT REMAINS THE SAME
But some things have not changed: All parents want the best for their children. They want to be able to know what is going on in their children’s classrooms and schools and they want to support student success.
California State PTA is committed to connecting families and schools by providing a range of information, resources and training to empower parents to actively participate at all levels of decision-making: from the school site, to local school boards, to state and federal government bodies.
Whether it is understanding the new state standards or how to help a child succeed with homework, learning about high-school course options and college/career readiness, or serving on a citizen’s committee for the school district, families need information that allows them to be involved with their children and community.
Understanding how school systems work increases the likelihood of parent and community involvement, which makes education more effective and responsive for students.
Quality public education is crucially important to the future of our society as it is to individual families. PTA works to inform its membership of education issues and to advocate at every school and governmental level for policies and practices that enhance education to ensure that all students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.
Organization-wide advocacy goals include:
• Adequate funding for education to ensure every child has the opportunity to meet his or her full potential
• Access to a full curriculum for every student that includes physical education, arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics education).
SNEAK PEEK: SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY DASHBOARD
California is adopting new reports on the performance of schools and districts that look at all aspects of a quality school environment to include:
- Four state indicators of school success with performance standards: readiness for college and careers, graduation rates, progress of English learners and suspension rates.
- Two state indicators of school-success scores on state standardized tests and chronic absenteeism.
- Four local indicators to gauge basic conditions at a school, school climate, progress towards meeting subject matter content standards and parent and family engagement.
- A system to ensure schools that do not meet performance standards will be provided technical assistance and, if needed, intervention.
- Data providing schools and districts information on model best practices showing what schools performing well do and also providing resources for schools to improve.
Education Edition of PTA in California
The new Education Edition of PTA in California gives you the tools you need to help your child succeed throughout the school year:
- Information on student assessments and scores
- Ways to get engaged in your school community
- The latest on science and arts education
- Tips for parents of students with special needs
- Homework help
- And much more!
This special edition is available in six languages.
Important Education Legislation Encourages Family Engagement
In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB). The Every Student Succeeds Act is a marked improvement over current law, ensuring families are empowered to support their children’s learning and that all students receive a high-quality, well-rounded education that prepares them for long-term success.
PTA volunteers’ efforts ensured inclusion of important family-engagement language in this key federal legislation, as well as requirements for well-rounded educations for all children throughout the nation. Find out more.
Other Key Education Issues and Resources
- Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control and Accountability Plans
- Common Core State Standards
- Infusion of quality STEM education from K-12
- Arts education
- Increased availability of Linked Learning career/technical education at the high-school level
- Quality expanded and extended learning opportunities for all
- Strengthened teacher and administrator effectiveness
- Student assessment and school accountability
- Building Better Schools – a new website from former State Superintendent Bill Honig designed to present the research and experience supporting the “build and support” approach.