Families & the Community

Welcome to K-12, Parents & the Public

September 13, 2010 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

What better time than the beginning of a new school year to launch a new blog about parent involvement and public engagement with elementary and secondary education. Given the breadth of the concepts being linked here, there are many aspects of how parents and the public interact with K-12 education. Since the community includes parents and nonparents, businesses and nonprofits, organized and informal groups, and arguably almost anything and anyone other than educators, government, and education researchers, there’s a lot to cover.

Implicitly, this is a discussion about parental and other community involvement in education, but involvement comes in many forms—from parents reading to their kids and civic groups partnering on projects to companies or foundations providing financial or human resources for schools and even community members adamantly disengaging from education.

It’s a rich subject and a great time to be taking on these myriad topics. Parent involvement is all the rage among educators and researchers (and, I might add, many parents), and rightly so. While the data on effects are conflicting and nuanced, few would say that parents should not be a part of their children’s education. But how, and how much? Likewise, at a time when a larger proportion of adult Americans than ever are not parents of K-12 students, what should their role be vis a vis education and children? With state and federal budget deficits putting intense pressure on education funding, should businesses, foundations, other nonprofits, and community groups play a larger role in financing or providing in-kind services for schools? And, at a time when “public engagement” and volunteerism are hot, what do these mean for community involvement in K-12 education?

This is a lot to cover—the news, the research, the questions, the broader issues—but these topics hardly cover the waterfront. A blog is about interactively exploring ideas, so I’m more than open to going in directions that you may suggest. I want to know what interests and concerns you about “K-12, Parents & the Public.”

So, who am I? I am, or have been, a journalist, a public policy professional, a historian, an educator, and a parent. I’ve covered education for national news media, worked in the U.S. Department of Education, been involved in education research projects for a nonprofit organization, taught (albeit at the college level), and have an 8th-grade son who, incidentally, is active in student government and, thus, also thinks about school-community relations. (Thus, this blog reinforces my own parental involvement.)

Schools, communities, and the nation have dramatically changed since I was a child and even since I first started covering education in the 1980s. But tracking and speculating about changes—both short- and longer-term—fascinate me as a journalist and historian. I see this blog as a way for me, and for us, to learn and try to better understand education in 2010s America. As much as the blogosphere permits, I look forward to hearing from you and batting about ideas together.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12, Parents & the Public blog.

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

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

Families & the Community Reported Essay Pandemic Parents Are More Engaged. How Can Schools Keep It Going?
Families have a better sense of what their child is learning, but schools will have to make some structural shifts to build on what they started.
6 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Families & the Community Opinion How to Preserve the Good Parts of Pandemic Schooling
Yes, there have been a few silver linings for student well-being in the pandemic. Let’s not lose them now, write two researchers.
Laura Clary & Tamar Mendelson
4 min read
A student and teacher communicate through a screen.
Families & the Community COVID Protocols Keep Changing. Here's How Schools Can Keep Parents in the Know
Parents and educators shared best practices for effective communication related to the pandemic. It all centers on transparency.
6 min read
communication information network 1264145800 b
Families & the Community Teachers' Union, Education Groups Unite to Resist Critical Race Theory Bans
Some of the country’s most prominent education groups are organizing against efforts to restrict teaching students about racism.
3 min read
Image of a "stop" hand overlaying a circle with a red diagonal line.
DigitalVision Vectors