Issues

Education

As the state budget crisis continues, cuts to education are decimating the infrastructure and capacity of our public education system to fulfill its democratic mission of providing education for all our citizens.

Over the past year, First Congregational Church and Alianza Charter School have held house meetings that focused on challenges in education. In October a regional House Meeting was held to continue our work to identify and clarify the Education Agenda item for our Regional Agenda to be finalized in February. Follow-up House Meetings have been scheduled for each county with the plan to then reunite to finalize the education strategy and issue agenda for 2012.

This team has also begun to study the financial narrative of education in the State of California and will be initiating research actions locally and on the state level. Representatives of the COPA Delegation to the Northern California IAF Economic Conference participated in the Education Workshop where a tentative plan was made to have a Northern CA IAF Education Conference sometime in 2012 as we continue to explore opportunities for acting together on education issues as the Northern California IAF.

COPA has engaged in Parent Achievement Academies within three institutions: Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salinas, Alianza Charter School in Watsonville and Live Oak Elementary School in Live Oak. The Parent Achievement Academies focus on developing joint leadership between teachers and parents, strengthening the network of relationships that support our children’s learning: parent-teacher, parent-parent, parent-child and teacher-teacher. The Parent Achievement Academies teach and develop the habits and practices needed for parents to support their children’s path to college.

 

 

Accomplishments

  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church has engaged over 300 parents of First Communicants in Parent Academies since 2007.
  • In October 2010, the 2nd grade teachers ofl Alianza Charter School led a 4-week Parent Achievement Academy for 2nd grade parents.  A team of parents and teachers is designing more sessions and strategies to support the academic achievement of their children and build trust between parents and teachers. Out of this experience, Alianza became a COPA member.
  • COPA, in partnership with the Live Oak School District, has led Parent Achievement Academies at Live Oak Elementary School since 2008. The Academies are broken into 4 two hour sessions over a 4 week period, focused on teaching the following:
    • the intentionality of conversation and the importance of a network of adults looking out for our children,
    • the difference between attainment culture and performance culture and how to integrate both,
    • the difference between communication and conversation in building a relationship with a teacher,
    • re-designation/re-classification of English language learners as a process, and
    • the benchmarks towards a college education.

In 2010, the curriculum for the Academies was developed with the Live Oak Elementary School principal and participating teachers. COPA will be leading the Academies again in 2012.

  • The Live Oak School District joined COPA as a member in 2005 with interest in developing leadership among its parent community, and creating a relational culture among its parents, teachers and administrators to increase academic achievement. In 2006, a team of parents organized house meetings and negotiated a plan with the Santa Cruz Adult School for holding 4 new ESL classes in Live Oak.

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