Saturday, June 25, 2016

NEW! ESSA Stakeholder Engagement Principles

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

This message is sent on behalf of Laura Bay, National PTA president and Nathan Monell, National PTA executive director.

Dear PTA Leaders:

In the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), parents and other education stakeholders are required to be meaningfully consulted and engaged in the implementation and evaluation of the law. Parents, families and other education stakeholders will now be able to provide critical guidance and expertise to improve our nation’s schools and ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential. This is a significant and much-needed change from current practice. The law, however, gives few details on what constitutes meaningful engagement and how stakeholders should work together to determine policies and practices. 

To help facilitate meaningful stakeholder engagement under ESSA, the Learning First Alliance (LFA) has created a set of principles to make sure the right people are at the table and the process moves forward in an effective manner. LFA is a collaborative group of 14 of the nation’s leading education organizations, including National PTA. 

National PTA is committed to ensuring the successful implementation of ESSA. In addition to helping develop LFA’s set of principles, the association will continue to create and curate resources at to educate and empower state and local PTAs to be a part of the process. We hope that you will use the principles, along with other National PTA ESSA materials, to further conversations on effective stakeholder engagement, take steps to make sure parents and families are at the table and provide valuable input on important state and local education policy decisions. We encourage you to share the principles and other ESSA resources with PTA leaders and members in your state so that they can effectively engage in the process as well.  

The opportunity for a significant change in education policy-making is at hand. It is essential that meaningful stakeholder engagement occurs as intended and that parents and families are active in state and local implementation of ESSA to make the promise of the law a reality for all children.


Laura Bay Signature                                              
Laura M. Bay                                                                          Nathan R. Monell, CAE
President                                                                                 Executive Director
National PTA                                                                           National PTA

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Tips for Incoming PTA Leaders

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog
Posted: 23 Jun 2016 05:56 AM PDT
Summer vacation is here! While these months can be filled with road trips to the beach, summer camps, long nights and lots of “R&R” time—summer is also an opportunity plan a smooth transition into the upcoming school year. Just as teachers must plan the next school year’s curriculum, PTA leaders have an assignment of their own, too.

At the end of their term, outgoing leaders transfer their procedures books to the incoming leaders. Even if an outgoing leader thinks the information is of no value, with these books you will have a better idea of what was done in the past and how the PTA went about doing it. Outgoing leaders can also offer valuable insight on things yet to be done, what they would do better and suggestions on how to be more effective and efficient in the performance of your new duties. Take notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Start planning now for your own smooth transition into office. Here are a few tips for incoming local leaders to consider:

Share contact information with outgoing leaders and set up a directory to be and remain connected. With previous leaders’ contact information, you’ll be able to reach out for additional support throughout the year or to ask for insight as problems arise.

Review procedures books given to you from outgoing leaders. If there are none, do not worry; start one by getting and reading your local unit bylaws. The PTA unit’s secretary should have a copy. If you can’t find it, call your state/congress office; they’ll be happy to mail or email you one.

Visit and review the sections that may apply to your new position.  If you don’t see your position listed, the information this website contains is of value to the entire PTA board.  Even if you’re an experienced PTA leader, it is worth reviewing every year as it is updated with the most current information and trends to help you and your unit to be successful.

Check out your state PTA’s website.  They may have information that can start you off on the right foot for the year. For example, templates, training opportunities, resources, program materials, newsletters, etc. You might find ways to connect with your state through Facebook, Instagram, Legislative Alerts, Twitter, etc.

Take advantage of the e-learning courses. National PTA offers online training courses to help you grow as a leader at Although you may want to start with what you’ll need for your own PTA position, please take all courses. As a board member, it’s important to know the role of each position and what to expect.

Meet with your school principal to learn about school goals and objectives for the incoming year. Share with the principal the programs the PTA would like to hold (ReflectionsFamily Reading Experience Powered by KindleHealthy LifestylesFire Up Your FeetTake Your Family to School WeekTeacher Appreciation WeekConnect for Respect, etc.) and how these programs will support the goals and objectives of the school. Think about becoming a School of Excellence in the process!

Set up a communications plan. Newsletters and social media keep everyone informed, engaged and proud of what the PTA is doing. Go through your PTA’s goals, identify specific strategies your PTA or committee will use to achieve each goal and then create a step-by-step plan for each strategy. This is key to growing membership and gaining members and community support.

Have a successful PTA year and thank you so much for your dedication and commitment to the mission of PTA!

Ivelisse Castro is a national service representative at National PTA.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

National PTA Supports Department of Education’s Guidance for Stakeholder Engagement in Every Student Succeeds Act

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (June 23, 2016)—Today, the U.S. Department of Education releasedguidance to help states and school districts effectively engage stakeholders in the implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires that stakeholders—including parents—are meaningfully engaged and consulted during the implementation process. However, few details are provided in the law on what constitutes meaningful engagement and how stakeholders should work together.

“ESSA recognizes the critical expertise and firsthand knowledge that parents, educators, practitioners and other stakeholders can bring to the table to help improve our nation’s schools and make sure every child has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential. This is a much-needed change in education policymaking,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA has called on the Department of Education to provide best practices for effective stakeholder consultation and engagement to ensure this occurs as intended in the law. The association is pleased the Department has heeded this call and issued the guidance.”

As outlined in the guidance, the Department of Education recommends that states and districts design their engagement strategies to involve the many stakeholders affected by the law, including representatives of all students and families. The Department also recommends that states and districts design a process that allows stakeholders the opportunity to provide substantive input throughout the development of plans and policies related to ESSA. Additionally, the department offers ways in which states and districts can remove barriers that limit authentic engagement.

“The real impact of ESSA on children and schools depends on effective implementation of the law, which must include parents from the beginning,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “It is essential that meaningful stakeholder engagement occurs as intended and that parents and families are active in state and local implementation of ESSA to make the promise of the law a reality.”

National PTA is committed to engaging parents and families in ESSA implementation. The association has created and curated resources at to educate and empower families and PTAs to be a part of the process. The association also has collaborated with the Council of Chief State School Officers on A Guide on Stakeholder Outreach, as well as with the Learning First Alliance on a set of principles to help direct stakeholder engagement. 

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ohio PTA Elections Coming Soon...Apply Today!

Thinking ahead...during our 111th Ohio PTA Convention in April 2017...we will conduct elections (per the Ohio PTA Bylaws) for the entire Ohio PTA Board of Directors except for Ohio PTA President. Our current President-elect Susan M. Hans will be the incoming Ohio PTA President for a two-year term. Would you like to serve on the state level? It is a rewarding experience with state-level commitment but it is a lot of fun, too. Start giving it some thought...job descriptions are listed on the Ohio PTA website under the board tab.
If interested in applying, fill out an application.
Applications are due September 1, 2016.

Questions? Contact the Ohio PTA Nominating Committee at

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Ohio PTA Summer Leadership Training Conference (LTC)

Build Your PTA Family Team Through

A must attend event for current, new and future leaders!
Get your PTA started on the right track for the 2016-2017 school year!

Join us on Sat., July 30 (Grove City) or Sat., August 13 (Stow) 9 to 4 pm. This is a legitimate PTA expense. Cost $50 BOGO, bring a friend to learn, network, and have a little fun. 

ALL new and returning officers, chairpersons, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend. Complete (or start) your Gold Key...update on assessments and learning standards...plan to attend NOW. 

Lunch provided. 

Register/pay online through Cheddar Up OR download registration form and mail in check right away.

Please click on the below links for more information or to register and pay. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) ESSA Stakeholder Engagement Guide

National PTA Government Affairs staff worked with CCSSO and provided input on their recently released ESSA Stakeholder Engagement Guide.  The guide is posted on PTA’s ESSA webpage –

The guide also includes National PTA’s “Questions PTA Advocates Should Ask on ESSA Implementation” in the additional resources section.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Education Law "ESSA"

PTA Leaders,

As you know, many states are beginning the ESSA implementation process and reaching out to stakeholders to engage them in the process of crafting new state education plans.  

National PTA conducted a survey that many of you participated in (thank you!) on the ESSA implementation process in your state and a scan of state department of education websites to find out what and how states are going about engaging stakeholders, especially parents in the process.  First, we wanted to provide you with a summary of the survey results which is attached and second, based on the feedback from the survey, the Government Affairs staff has put together the attached document, “Start a Conversation: Questions PTA Advocates Should Ask about the ESSA Implementation.”  The document also includes a link to state ESSA implementation pages. We hope you find these resources valuable.  Both “Start a Conversation” and state ESSA implementation webpage are on and we encourage you share them widely! 

In other news regarding ESSA implementation, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released proposed regulations on state accountability systems, state plans and data reporting. National PTA is reviewing these regulations and will be providing comments on the regulations by the August 1 deadline.  We will be sharing National PTA’s comments with all of you in advance of the August 1 deadline so that you may use those comments as part of your own letter if you would like. ED has also published a fact sheet and chart comparing these proposed regulations to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) that you may find helpful. 

As always, please reach out to the Government Affairs staff if you have any questions. 


Jacki Ball | Director, Government Affairs
National PTA® 
1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
P: (703) 518-1243 | C: (703) 405-5206  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Children's Defense Fund (Article Source: Marian Wright Edelman)

Building Strong Children Today For a Strong Nation Tomorrow
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
--Frederick Douglass
Email - Marian Wright Edelman Photo
Pediatricians aren’t usually day-to-day policy makers but policy decisions affect the work they do every day as frontline caregivers for our nation’s children. That’s why I was extremely pleased the official journal of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) recently devoted an entire supplement to a pressing policy crisis affecting pediatricians, public health workers, teachers and all of us and the nation’s future: child poverty in America. As Academic Pediatrics put it: “Childhood poverty creates long-lasting, often permanent, physiologic changes through constant exposure to threats such as malnutrition, acute and chronic disease, toxic stress, social deprivation, and lack of opportunity.”
The editors add: “Children remain the poorest members of our society even in good times, with rates that are unacceptably high for a developed nation. This situation is not an inevitable fact of life. The United States is a nation that knows how to use policies and programs to raise its citizens out of poverty.” I agree! The Children’s Defense Fund 2015 report, Ending Child Poverty Now, shows policy solutions to ending child poverty in our nation already exist and can be implemented without delay if politics and greed can be overcome by a commitment to help children. By expanding investments in nine existing policies and programs that work we could shrink overall child poverty 60 percent, Black child poverty 72 percent, and improve the economic circumstances for 97 percent of poor children.
Academic Pediatrics’ editors offered this single issue volume to help empower pediatricians, community and national leaders, policy makers and advocates to courageously address child poverty now. “Underlying this agenda are: 1) a belief that social justice demands both a robust safety net and universal opportunity for social mobility; 2) an acceptance of a broad definition of health that goes beyond well-being and focuses on the accumulation of human capital; 3) a recognition that social determinants of health impact and outweigh traditional health care for most children, and that health care must radically transform in response; and 4) a desire to eliminate, now and for the generations that follow, the health inequities that divide us. Pediatricians are in a unique position to help poor children both directly in their practices and as trusted advocates for children in the public arena. They must work with leaders in education, social service programs, government, and business—virtually every sector of society that collectively has a strong stake in addressing the problem of child poverty. For whom are these children not our children? And for whom is the time to engage not now?”
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men, Frederick Douglass wisely wrote a long time agoAs the wealthy and powerful but morally anemic nation I believe we are, it is way past time to commit to ensuring that all our children’s basic needs are met. Solutions to child poverty in our boastfully wealthy nation exist if we are willing to invest in them. So mothers and grandmothers and all in America must create that public will in this election year and for as long as it takes to end child poverty in America. It will require all of us working together with urgency and persistence. Pediatricians lend such a powerful respected voice for ending child poverty. I am so grateful for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation this past March that all pediatricians ask about poverty in patient visits and urge state and federal lawmakers to expand existing housing, food, and health programs. As AAP President Dr. Benard Dreyer said, “Poverty is the most serious non communicable disease that children have — and it’s the most common.” This journal supplement forcefully reinforces the why and how for acting now.
I was pleased to contribute a commentary sharing some of the Children’s Defense Fund’s proposed solutions which we know reduce child poverty and promote opportunity. For example, children with access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) are more likely to finish high school and are less likely to experience obesity, stunted growth, or heart disease as adults. Children in families benefiting from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) have higher scores on reading and math tests, are more likely to go on to college, and have higher earnings as adults. Housing vouchers can help families move from areas of concentrated poverty to lower poverty neighborhoods. Children who move before age 13 have higher earnings as young adults. In 2014 tax credits and other safety net programs reduced child poverty 40 percent. By reducing child poverty now the nation would also reduce the odds that today’s poor children will become tomorrow’s poor adults and reduce child poverty in the next generation too.
Our nation can easily afford it – and cannot afford not to do it. There are multiple ways to increase investments in children without increasing the deficit. We could tell Congress to reduce military spending — the U.S. accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s population but 37 percent of the world’s military spending. We could insist Congress close unfair tax breaks and loopholes that cost the nation hundreds of billions every year while fueling the nation’s indefensible alarming income and wealth gaps. As the pediatricians and scholars sounding this most recent alarm show, we cannot afford not to end child poverty. They are absolutely correct when they say we all have a stake and the time to engage is right now. Let’s insist our political leaders of all parties make building strong children their number one concern to ensure a strong and fair nation. A nation without a sturdy foundation of healthy, literate, safe, and engaged children lacks common and moral sense and will not stand tall tomorrow.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to

Mrs. Edelman's Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post.