Standard 5 - Sharing Power
Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs.
The fifth standard in the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships encourages collaboration between all parties involved in a child’s education. If families, students, teachers, school staff, and community members can speak their concerns, take part in decision-making processes, and meet openly to debate important questions, they will be sharing power and actively practicing democracy.
There are two main goals for Standard 5
Strengthen the family’s voice in shared decision making:
Families must be full partners in making decisions on issues affecting their children both at school and within the community.
- Do families have a vote when decisions that touch their children are being made?
- What governance exists to discuss issues of equity, such as which children are eligible for the gifted program?
Build families’ social and political connections: Every school should have a broad-based parent organization that offers families and school staff regular opportunities to discuss concerns with each other and with school leaders, public officials, and community leaders.
- In what ways do the school and PTA/parent group connect families to local officials?
- How do parties make sure the parent organization truly represents all families in both membership and its leadership?
In the resources below, read how one school worked to achieve Standard 5 and what you or your organization can do to get started.
Success Story: San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs
How one council built its local units' capacity for advocacy.
How to get all parties involved in decision-making
Standard 5 Resources
Word document listing additional resources related to Standard 5.