California Educator

November 2013

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Page 26 of 61

Guest Column Perspectives PTA joins with teachers in "raising our hand for student success" BY COLLEEN A.R. YOU C A L I F O R N I A S TAT E P TA P R E S I D E N T As we celebrate and honor individuals making a difference during American Education Week, the promise of a quality education for every child has never been more important. California is experiencing a watershed moment with the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards, a new Local Control Funding Formula, and Local Control Accountability Plans tying school district budgets to improvement goals. School districts are formulating these plans with stakeholder input. It is imperative for teachers and parents facts about the curriculum and implications to work together in the most fundamental of Common Core State Standards, how ways to ensure student success. PTA plays they will affect instruction and assessment. an integral part. Our goal is to Connect Teachers can encourage parents to seek Families and Schools. Through opportunities to learn together this connection, parents first with their children beyond gain exposure to the local the school day. Maximizing picture, become informed, and occasions to learn (for example, build confidence and knowlpracticing the application of edge. Their empowerment fractions while measuring for grows from initially advocating and preparing a recipe) results at their home schools to later in reinforcement of key mathespeaking up within their dismatical concepts introduced in tricts and beyond. the classroom. Colleen A.R. You We must encourage an Teachers and families have engaged and invested opportunities to comschool community in municate, collaborate, Teachers and every city in California. and plan for student parents are We do this by reminding success during Back to parents to ask openmutual partners School visits, during ended questions about curriculum nights, at in student their student's school day parent-teacher-student success. and ensure that a regular conferences, and at open schedule of nutrition, house. Meaningful, twoexercise, rest and homework is followed. way communication between the school Parents should ask teachers for, and teachand home ensures parents get to know ers and school administrators should share, their child's teachers, and teachers can be apprised of any concerns and make an early connection with families in the community. While parents are children's first teachers, recognizing that both the teacher and parent are mutual partners in student success, and the continued improvement of our public schools, will go a long way in ensuring all children gain the 21st century skills and education that prepare them for career and college in an increasingly competitive global work environment. Parents and teachers value schools that promote student engagement and a positive school climate in concert with improving student achievement. When students have access to sufficient instructional materials, well-maintained and modern facilities, and credentialed instructors with opportunities for professional collaboration and development, they are on the path to successful educational outcomes. Teachers and parents can continue to ask the essential questions moving forward: How do we invest education dollars appropriately in every community and not lose sight of our most vulnerable children? How do we ensure the funding is adequate, and the voices of the entire school community are heard? How do we elevate the importance of a well-rounded education that includes physical education, arts and STEM as a governing priority? PTA joins with teachers in "raising our hand for student success" — we must not lose sight of the impact we can make investing and advocating together for our children, our future. NOVEMBER 201 3 Educator 11 Nov 2013 v2.1 int.indd 25 25 11/13/13 6:31 PM

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