Monday, November 28, 2011

Needed: Help for education advocates?

Newly-elected school board member Ericka Ellis-Stewart has been tweeting links to school advocacy guides she's coming across as she prepares for her new job.

Ellis-Stewart,  who has spent a good bit of time on the other side of the dais trying to sway board members' views , suggests it could be helpful for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to produce something similar to this  "Parents' Guide to School Board Advocacy"  created by the ACLU in Washington state.  She also tweeted this  "Education Advocacy Toolkit"  done by the League of United Latin American Citizens.

I forwarded the ACLU guide to Bill Anderson of MeckEd,  asking if he's seen anything like this geared toward North Carolina or Charlotte . "This is actually a very good idea and something we will certainly consider,"  said Anderson,  whose group is doing a presentation on advocacy for the Mecklenburg PTA Council tonight.

Meanwhile,  people who want a voice in the direction of CMS will have an opportunity at a series of public meetings next week to discuss the superintendent search.

At the moment,  there don't seem to be the kind of controversies that bring large crowds out to lobby the board on specific issues.  But a trio of community groups recently met to try to boost the voice of minority and low-income families in CMS decision-making.  And a coalition of families from various elementary and middle schools have been pushing the board to rethink the longer elementary school hours and later starting times rolled out this year.

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