School & District Management

Institute’s Grads Run Ky. District

By Lesli A. Maxwell — December 05, 2006 1 min read

Graduates of a statewide parent institute will form a majority on the school board in the 35,000-student Fayette County district in Lexington, Ky., starting in January.

Since 1997, the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership has trained hundreds of parents to understand Kentucky’s school accountability system and become leaders in their children’s schools.

Learn more about the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership.

Now, a growing number of those parents are turning up as school board members across the state.

Three of the five members of the Fayette County board completed the leadership program created by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, an influential citizens’ group in Lexington that seeks improvements in Kentucky schools.

One alumna, Amanda Main Ferguson, defeated three other candidates last month to win a spot on the board. Melissa Bacon, who also completed the program, was appointed by Kentucky’s education commissioner recently to fill a vacancy on the board. Becky Sagan was elected to the board in 2004.

Statewide, 36 board members are alumni of the institute, said Beverly N. Raimondo, the director of the program. Since holding its first workshop in 1997, the institute has trained 1,362 parents, she said.

Grooming parents to become school board members is not a goal of the program, but Ms. Raimondo called school board service an obvious next step for some parents who complete the institute’s training.

“We do see it as a logical progression,” she said. “After going through our program, parents have spent a lot of time thinking about how schools work, how to make them better, and the importance of keeping student achievement as the top focus.”

The course, which spans six days and includes lots of homework, focuses on teaching parents a range of skills, Ms. Raimondo said. They are assigned to obtain academic data from their children’s schools and taught how to read the data, question it, and understand it. Techniques for running meetings and recruiting other parents are also taught.

Finally, each parent must develop and put in place a project for his or her child’s school that aims to raise achievement. Parents have started tutoring programs and worked with teachers to bring more arts activities into the classroom.

A version of this article appeared in the December 06, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management We Pay Superintendents Big Bucks and Expect Them to Succeed. But We Hardly Know Them
National data is skimpy, making it hard to know what influences superintendents' decisions to move on, retire, or how long they stay. Why?
8 min read
Conceptual image of tracking with data.
marcoventuriniautieri/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Data For the First Time in the Pandemic, a Majority of 4th Graders Learn in Person Full Time
The latest monthly federal data still show big racial and socioeconomic differences in who has access to full-time in-person instruction.
3 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center To Offer Remote Learning in the Fall or Not? Schools Are Split
An EdWeek Research Center survey shows that nearly 4 of every 10 educators say their schools will not offer any remote instruction options.
4 min read
Image of a teacher working with a student through a screen session.
Ridofranz/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion What Does It Mean to Call a Program 'Evidence-Based' Anyway?
States and school districts need to help educators weigh the research on programs. Too often it stops at a single positive study.
Fiona Hollands, Yuan Chang & Venita Holmes
5 min read
A researcher points to charts and data
iStock/Getty