As the OUSD board meets tonight to consider priorities for the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), PLAN leaders will be speaking out to highlight findings from a new parent-led report. Their message is clear: We need higher standards for family engagement that will create the conditions for families to participate in school change efforts as decision makers.
Last spring, PLAN leaders asked Oakland families what it would take for them to be 100% engaged in their children’s schools. The findings highlighted in The State of Family Engagement in OUSD show that the overwhelming majority of families want to be in the classroom and at the school helping to improve learning conditions and support children. But 50% of families surveyed said the biggest barrier was not being involved as decision-makers.
Why does it matter? According to families, most of the barriers to their engagement – lack of translation, information and ongoing opportunities to develop their knowledge and leadership – could be addressed if they were setting the priorities as decision-makers. Despite our district’s considerable efforts to promote family involvement, we need to set the bar higher – and pony up the resources – to make it possible for all families to partners in education.
As school lets out for summer, we have high hopes and expectations that OUSD will continue to strengthen the standards for measuring the success of its family engagement efforts. For families to be 100% Engaged in their children’s education, we need to have a seat at the table as decision makers.
By Melia Franklin