The largest child advocacy organization in the United States, National PTA, has launched a multifaceted parent involvement initiative to increase awareness of the benefits of parent involvement and the need for building successful partnerships in school reform efforts.
National PTA worked with Congress to initiate the PARENT Act, which sought to strengthen the parent participation policies in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In January 2002, the ESEA was signed into law as the No Child Left Behind Act. It authorizes more than 40 programs that provide federal funds to nearly every school district in the nation. This law now includes many of the parent involvement provisions of the PARENT Act and, for the first time, defines the term “parent involvement” based on National PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnership Programs.
The PTA defines “parent involvement” as the participation of parents in every facet of children’s education and development from birth to adulthood, recognizing that parents are the primary influence in children’s lives. Parent involvement takes many forms, including:
Through the efforts of National PTA, ESEA expands and formalizes parent involvement to benefit student achievement. The parent involvement provisions were included in the law to ensure that:
Our Children. A bi-monthly magazine, published by National PTA, with in-depth features examining the issues affecting children today, including education, health, and safety matters. Contact National PTA for subscription information.
National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. This quick-reference booklet describes the six national standards that were identified by National PTA for developing effective parent and family involvement programs. Provides research findings on the benefits of parent involvement and outlines the six standards areas. Includes quality indicators checklists. Contact the state PTA office to purchase a copy.
National PTA Web site – www.pta.org
Pennsylvania PTA Web site – www.papta.org
Public Education Network – www.publiceducation.org