Parents as Change Agents Pilot Project Overview
Deepening Connections between Schools and Families so Parents Know What Schools Know about Student Achievement
Bibb Hubbard, Cindi Williams and Erica Felker, Learning Heroes
The Issue – Parents overwhelmingly have an inflated perception of their child’s academic standing.
According to four years of Learning Heroes’ national parent surveys (2016-2019), nine-in-ten K-12 parents, regardless of race, income, geography, and education level, believe their child performs at or above grade level in math and reading, despite national data to the contrary. The current education system leaves parents overly confident in the status quo and overly reliant on the best source of information parents know — the grades they see on their children’s report cards, which regularly reflect A’s and B’s.
The Solution – Parent-friendly data, information, and communications that give parents a more complete and accurate picture of their child’s progress and achievement.
When schools and districts provide parents with a complete and accurate picture, simple tailored actions, and bite-size goals as stepping stones toward educational success, parents can most effectively advocate on behalf of their child and better support classroom learning.
The Proposal – Parents as Change Agents pilots for districts, schools, and charters
Through “pilots” that incorporate Learning Heroes’ actionable research and resources into existing home-school communications that increase teacher capacity around parent communication overall, participating districts and schools will help parents better understand their child’s progress so they can more effectively support classroom learning at home with an eye toward long-term student success.
Vision for Impact – A little information goes a long way
Learning Heroes’ 2018 research found that parents’ understanding of their child’s achievement can shift dramatically when a few clear pieces of already available information – such as report card grades, annual state test results, and school performance ratings – are presented together in a simple and accessible way. And teachers rate regular communications with them as the most important way for parents to understand their child’s achievement and gain an accurate picture of student performance.
Through Parents as Change Agents pilots in several locations across the country, home-school communications will be enhanced to provide parents with multiple measures of student progress (that already teachers have at their disposal) which give parents a more complete, holistic picture of their child’s performance so that they can better support their child’s academic and developmental success. At scale, we believe that creating better, more dynamic communication (feedback loops) between parents, students, and teachers across schools and districts will ultimately exert pressure on the system to meet the needs of every student and effectively prepare all students to graduate ready for success.
- My Turn: Daniel J. McKee: Close the parent information gap (Providence Journal) Link
- Williams: Together, Student Report Cards and School Report Cards Can Show Parents How Their Kids Are Really Doing in School. 5 States That Get It Right. (The 74) Link
- Cortez: Parent Power is Key to Changing Education Systems, and Measurement Is Key to Scaling Parent Power (The 74) Link
- Report card grades aren’t the best way to measure academic achievement, says study (Study International) Link
- Report cards show parents how to help schools, expert says (AL.com) Link
PATHWAY 2 TOMORROW
Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future (P2T) matches responsive and agile education policy solutions with the needs of states and local communities.
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