Friday, March 25, 2016

PARENTS_Sign the Testing Bill of Rights!

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog

National PTA is pleased to join forces with the Center for American Progress (CAP), America Achieves and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), among others in support of the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure assessments are fair, reliable, relevant and aligned to high-quality standards.

The Testing Bill of Rights outlines the need to accurately measure student learning in a way that is useful for parents and teachers and less burdensome for students. As states continue to transition to higher standards and a new generation of high-quality tests come to fruition, more needs to be done at state and local levels to address over testing and provide greater transparency about the purpose and benefits of each test. No parent wants their child reduced to a test score, and assessment results should be used to inform instruction, provide parents and communities with information about whether students are working at grade level or are struggling, and allow teachers to diagnose and help their students. The launch of the Testing Bill of Rights is part of a campaign led by CAP to educate school leaders, students, teachers, and parents about the need for better, fairer and fewer tests.

National PTA understands the frustration that parents, students and educators have expressed regarding over testing. However, instead of walking away from assessments themselves, National PTA seeks to empower and engage parents in the important conversations around the amount and types of tests students take as well as advocate for parents to be at the table as these discussions occur at state and local levels. Parents are an important part of the solution to improve assessments, and we can’t walk away from this responsibility.

The association believes that in order to provide the most accurate information to parents, educators, schools, districts and states all students must participate in required state assessments. The information gathered from assessments helps to make sure all students and schools are receiving the necessary resources and supports in order to reach their full potential. Additionally, if we do not have full data sets, we won’t know if the assessments actually do what they are designed or purported to do.

National PTA has always believed that educational improvements and increased well-being for our nation’s children comes from engaged and empowered parents and families. The parent voice is critical in the discussion around educational equity. Parents must be part of the solution for fairer, better and fewer tests.

National PTA urges you to sign the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure students are taking high-quality and aligned assessments, parents have accurate information on their child’s progress and achievement and teachers have a tool that helps improve instruction.

Jacki Ball is the director of government affairs at National PTA.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Our Own [Ohio's] Lisa Mack [Immediate Past President Ohio PTA] Represents Parents!

PTA Leader Participates on U.S. Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for New Every Student Succeeds Act
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 22, 2016) — National PTA is pleased to announce that PTA leader Lisa Mack is participating this week on the U.S. Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking committee for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). With the new law, the U.S. Department of Education is required to go through the “negotiated rulemaking” process on standards, assessments and how states and districts spend their own funds in relation to federal money. Mack is one of only 15 people selected to serve on the committee and is representing parents and students, including historically underserved students.
“Lisa is a strong advocate for education, children and families, and we are proud that she has been named to the U.S. Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking committee—an important next step in the successful implementation of ESSA,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “Lisa’s outstanding leadership, dedication, passion and experience will be tremendous assets to the committee and on behalf of families and students nationwide.”  
Mack has been active in PTA for 23 years and has held leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. She served as a district advisor, vice president of leadership, state president-elect and state president for Ohio PTA. She also chaired Ohio PTA’s Mosaic Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is currently a member of National PTA’s Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach Committee. In addition to her participation in PTA, Mack has been involved in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City School District as well as with the Ohio Department of Education.
During the negotiated rulemaking process, committee members will meet at least twice at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. At these meetings, committee members will discuss updated regulations for academic standards, assessments and supplement funds to reflect changes included in ESSA. The committee and negotiated rulemaking process are designed to give everyone with a stake a chance to provide input and try to reach agreement. 
The negotiated rulemaking committee will meet March 21-23 and April 6-8. For more information, visit
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.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Youth Summit Pic

Who are PTA/PTSA’s student leaders?

Students who are committed to improving their school. 
Does that sound like YOU? If the answer is yes, then join your PTA/PTSA. 

Why should I join PTA/PTSA?

PTA/PTSA membership gets you a seat at the table with school decision-makers:
  • Parents
  • School leaders 
  • Community members 
At all levels, but especially the secondary grade level – student voices must inform that conversation as equal members with an equal vote. That’s why you should add PTA/PTSA to your student leadership resume. You will gain experience in leadership, advocacy, public speaking, teamwork, event planning – all while improving your school. 
In many places, PTA/PTSA student leaders earn community service hours for their contributions to the organization. Find out if that is possible through your PTA/PTSA.