Parents as Leaders
|•||Colead with children, teachers, administrators, and other parents with respect to all the students at the school;|
|•||Participate in education practices with others in the school community;|
|•||Advocate education to other parents, community, and policymakers; and|
|•||Assume collective responsibility for the learning of all children.|
The educators at Belvedere School surprised even themselves when they observed a shift in their perspectives about parents. Determined to extend to parents the same regard and opportunities for reciprocity that they extend to students and each other, Jennifer and her colleagues sought to reexamine traditional parent roles in their school. During one intense dialogue session, they discussed their current and potential views of parents (see Figure 7.1).
The staff members were keen to revise their approach to parental involvement in part because they were determined to eliminate tracking and remedial programs at Belvedere in favor of integrated, differentiated instruction: they were certain that they would need parent support for such a change, and were startled at the conflicting agendas and strong opinions among parents. The staff members confronted some tough realities. By viewing parents as customers, they had sought to provide them only