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ERIC Number: EJ973983
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1083-3080
Community PTAs Believe: It Takes a Village to Improve Education
Bush, Vanessa
Our Children: The National PTA Magazine, v37 n5 p14-15 Apr-May 2012
The academic achievement of children is a national concern. Thus, PTA focuses not only on individual schools, but also on the communities they serve. One of the innovative approaches to community involvement in education is the community PTA. Community PTAs are not tied to a single school, but instead offer membership and involvement to various groups within a community. While community PTAs can be more inclusive, they also pose challenges. Community PTAs form for a variety of reasons. In Chicago, adults feeling left out of the education decision-making process have been the prime motivator behind the creation of community PTAs. For Black Star Community PTA (BSCPTA), the hot-button issue that galvanized parents to action was the Chicago Public School (CPS) system's 2009 proposed policy for admitting students to its coveted magnet and selective-enrollment schools following the end of federal scrutiny of desegregation efforts. The proposed policy, which focused on enrolling more children living near the schools, had the potential to shut out children from poorer, more distant neighborhoods from attending the best of these schools. BSCPTA members protested the CPS policy before meetings at the Board of Education and mobilized parents on the issue. An important part of BSCPTA's mission has been to encourage development of other community PTAs. Unfettered by connections to a single school or community, BSCPTA continues to utilize the Urban Family Engagement Initiative (UFEI) template and has begun to reach out to parents throughout the city. The group worked with Illinois PTA and other community partners to host Leading with Literacy events at several public libraries across Chicago last fall. BSCPTA has already inspired the creation of Educational Village Keepers (EdVK) Community PTSA, founded by a retired school teacher.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois