Parent involvement. The Massachusetts Department of Education is mandated
by the Act to create a demonstration project for assessing the effectiveness of various parent outreach programs designed to assist parents of children 1 to 3 years of age. The program found to be most effective in reaching parents and most compatible with the public schools in Massachusetts will be adopted
and universally implemented throughout the State beginning in January 1997.”
In addition to these above six programmatic reforms, the Act directs the Board of Education to form a commission for the purpose of examining the current effectiveness of bilingual education programs in the Commonwealth;” and to conduct a study on special education services currently being offered in the State.”
Site-based Management. Paramount among the changes wrought by the Education Reform Act is the move towards site-based management. The Act calls for every school in the Commonwealth to establish a school council, consisting of the principal, teachers, parents, community members, and at least one student if the school council is that of a high school.The school councils are to be representative of the racial and ethnic make-up of the school and community.
Their charges are: to identify the educational needs of students attending their school; to assist in reviewing the annual school budget; and to assist in developing a school improvement plan, i.e., a plan by which the educational goals of the school are formulated, adopted, and implemented.
The school improvement plan must be submitted and approved by the district’s school committee annually.
GN: I’ve bolded a couple of the above statements because in Lowell if you look at the make up of many of the school site councils they do meet the racial and ethnic make-up of the school and community.
I’ve also never found on-line or read in any School Committee Packet School Improvement Plans from each individual school.
Also the breakdowns for the individual schools in the budget don’t show how much is being allocated per school for maintenance or supplies and this current administration has provided LESS information than the previous administration when it comes to School Based Management.
Here is a page from the last budget under Supt. Franco / Deputy Supt. Lang wher they would show information about the Greenhalge school (number of students, ethnic etc) but then show the salary breakdown by Admin-teachers-others and whether the position was locally or grant funded (color coded).
This year the current administration only gave informational breakdown and none of the salary information.
This is why we need to educate our parents, principals and school committee on what the actual power of the parents is under Ed Reform and School Site Councils and make sure we are encouraging our parents to have and use their strong voice granted under the Education Reform Act.