In a speech delivered to the NAACP last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for parents and communities to play a more formal role in the tough work of turning around chronically underperforming schools. The remarks came in the wake of much discussion among educators, policymakers and even some lawmakers that turning around a low-performing school requires a look at circumstances beyond the school building. "Based on your input and the very productive engagement we have had around the school improvement grant program," Duncan said, "we will revise our ESEA reauthorization proposal to require parent and community input."
The required input "means notification, outreach, public input, and honest, open discussion about the right option for each community." Details about how exactly schools would gather input from surrounding communities are unknown.
What do you think is the appropriate way to structure parental and community involvement in the school turnaround program? Is it a meaningful role if they must still choose from the administration's preferred turnaround models?