Families & the Community Video

Parent Changemaker: Fighting for Teacher Home Visits

January 22, 2018 3:06

Single dad Paul Lumpkin had moved himself and his two children to Springfield, Mass., to begin life anew, after a bruising custody battle for his son and daughter. So he was understandably wary when his daughter’s kindergarten teacher asked to pay a home visit. He wondered if she had done something wrong in school. “I was expecting the worst, to say the least,” Lumpkin said. Instead that visit, designed to encourage parent engagement, turned out to be “transformative” for Lumpkin and his daughter Key-Aurah. Getting to know her teacher informally helped turn the shy 5-year old into a class leader. Lumpkin became actively involved in his children’s education and then stepped up as a parent leader when the district decided it could no longer fund parent-teacher home visits - despite widespread parent support. “I thought that if parents wanted it, then it was one of those things that they would find a way to make it happen. It was a rude awakening … because it didn’t work like that.” His advocacy, and that of other parents convinced the district to find the needed resources. Lumpkin says his experience has taught him that as “parents, we need to establish our voice.”

Coverage of how parents work with educators, community leaders and policymakers to make informed decisions about their children’s education is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, at waltonk12.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.

Video

Equity & Diversity Video An Educator Asks, ‘How Do We Define Diversity?’
An administrator at a Seattle independent school discusses the importance of considering the many elements that make a school diverse.
Equity & Diversity Collection VIDEOS: K-12 Staff Diversity Matters. Here's Why
The lack of teacher diversity dates back to the establishment of America's public school system. A look at the history and some early signs of hope.
Elizabeth Room smiles a welcome to the integrated group of kindergarten students at John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley, California on Sept. 11, 1968, as full integration of all schools got underway.
Elizabeth Room smiles a welcome to the integrated group of kindergarten students at John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley, California on Sept. 11, 1968, as full integration of all schools got underway.
AP
Recruitment & Retention Video Black Principals: How Schools Can Hire and Support Them
People of color have long been underrepresented in the teacher ranks. The disparity is even greater among administrators.
5:02
Leslie Alexander, right, talks with North Forsyth High School Assistant Principal of Instruction La Quisha Linder about what to expect while interviewing for the Winson-Salem/Forsyth County School District principal talent pool. Alexander is the Area Superintendent of Leadership Development and is working to develop a principal workforce that is representative of the district's demographics.
Leslie Alexander, right, talks with North Forsyth High School Assistant Principal of Instruction La Quisha Linder about what to expect while interviewing for the Winson-Salem/Forsyth County School District principal talent pool. Alexander is the Area Superintendent of Leadership Development and is working to develop a principal workforce that is representative of the district's demographics.
Alex Boerner for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Video Why Latino Representation on School Boards Matters and How to Make it Happen
School board decisions impact every aspect of students' education. A look at the value of Latino representation and work being done to get more elected.
5:23
Stephanie Parra, Governing Board Member at Phoenix Union School District and Executive Director of ALL in Education Arizona, sits for a portrait at the nonprofit’s space at Galvanize Phoenix in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 15, 2021. Phoenix Union is majority BIPOC students, but school board and educator demographics in Arizona lag behind in representation and opportunity.
Stephanie Parra, Governing Board Member at Phoenix Union School District and Executive Director of ALL in Education Arizona, sits for a portrait at the nonprofit’s space at Galvanize Phoenix in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 15, 2021. Phoenix Union is majority BIPOC students, but school board and educator demographics in Arizona lag behind in representation and opportunity.
Caitlin O’Hara for Education Week