Back in February I noted that parents are using online tools to push back on their local school districts. Embodying the themes expressed in Clay Shirky’s excellent book, Here Comes Everybody, parents and other stakeholders are using blogs, online discussion boards, e-mail listservs, YouTube channels, and other social media tools to organize, advocate, criticize, support, and otherwise express their opinions about their local school systems.
Here are some examples:
- NYC Public School Parents
- Parents Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland
- Attack of the Narcisse Clones
- Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE)
- Catalyst Chicago
- Chariho School Parents’ Forum
Also see the parent reviews at GreatSchools (here’s an example from Dallas, Texas) and the New York City school reviews at InsideSchools (here’s an example).
I’m looking for some more examples of parents (or others) blogging about their local school organization. Not an occasional post (as I am wont to do) but rather dedicated communication channels such as the ones above. If you know of any, please share them in the comments area? Thanks!
This site is provincial rather than local, but is parent-run.
Can you also tag this series as parentengagement? Thanks!
Scott, the “Seattle Public Schools community blog”, with multiple authors and nonstop comments/conversations, is a very active blog: http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/
The “More” Child — also from Montgomery County. What’s going on there? 😉
Rock Hill South Carolina:
Here’s another one, courtesy of Twitter (@atlteacher):
This has been an ongoing “conversation” (16 months) related to the district and the local share of funding. The district is a high wealth, high achieving, fast growing one that has seen considerable difficulty in passing school funding issues over the past several years and this chronicles the latest one.
Here’s another one, also courtesy of Twitter (@Skardalien):
Thanks for the mention, Russ!
If you look in my sidebar, Scott, you’ll also see numerous links to parent group websites and listservs.
Here’s a parent group that has created a web site specifically against the district’s math curriculum. The district is a wealthy inner suburb in St. Louis.
August 2006-May2007 – http://part-of-the-solution.blogspot.com/ Part of the Solution – An attempt to connect with people who were concerned with the students at Butler High School, Augusta, GA. School not making AYP in 7 years, grad rate of 48% percent, multiple bad news articles for fights, weapons, and 4 years of not winning a football game so I started blogging.
At the end of the school year, the media specialist tells me that blogs are blocked on the school network. The newsgroup, MySpace, and website became our alternate methods to connect with other parents, alumni, students, and community partners.
The last post refers to the unacceptable formal response we received from the RCBoEd to 15 questions submitted to them as concerned parents. http://bhsptsa.googlepages.com/bhs_ptsa.pdf
The newsgroup still serves as a method to transmit messages but it is not used to the full extent it can be used. Weekly messages are still sent based on collected information.
Then I created a blog titled: Participative Parent, which is now titled: Unique Ed Techie.
Many failed responses put me in touch with the Superintendent last weekend. Will it help? I don’t know,I receive emails from people who want to send out something but whether it is a fear of posting something on the web or the fear of retaliation the majority of participation comes from the high school students. The parents, teachers, and community partners receive newsgroup emails or visit the website.
Do I blog regularly about the district? Not every day, my latest posts with RCBoEd have to do with suggestions for the $24 million budget shortfall.
But it seems, people rather post gripes and complaints through the online newspaper than to submit a suggestion.
Here is another one, also courtesy of Twitter (@lisa_ray):
Here’s another one:
And another one:
Thanks for the list! I am a parent in San Diego and I am always looking for new resources to see what others are saying. We have a popular mommy blog network in SD that covers many educational topics. I wanted to throw it into the mix. Thanks!