Advocacy can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Many say they don’t have the time, some just do not understand why. Then there is the PTA; an Association of parents, teachers, administrators and communities working to improve the educational experience of our students. Common Core State Standards has been an initiative of the PTA for more than a year now and it has taken our advocacy efforts to a new level.
For example, this week National PTA rolled out the Parents’ Guide to Student Success. Individual guides have been created for parents, in both English and Spanish, for grades K-8 and two for grades 9-12; one for English language arts/literacy and one for mathematics. Eleven Guides in all.
These Guides help parents better understand what their children should be learning in English language arts and math in each grade after their state implements the standards. At this writing more than 40 states have already adopted the standards. Although the standards will take some time to be fully implemented in most places (1-3 years), the time to act is now for PTA leaders.
The Guides are a powerful advocacy tool that State and Local PTA Presidents can use to partner with their state departments of education and their school districts to ensure that parents are knowledgeable about the standards and can support their implementation. With this tool, PTAs can stand ready to work with their education administrators to develop a plan to share the Parent Guides with parents in their communities once the standards are in place.
As a parent, I know these guides will be helpful to me once the standards are implemented in my home state. Not only will they help me know what to expect my child to learn, but will help me know what the most important topics my boys will learn about in each grade.
You can find the guides and more information about the Common Core State Standards at PTA.org/parentsguides.
Charles J. “Chuck” Saylors is the President of National PTA.