(August 9, 2011) Armed with actionable knowledge, parents are able to work with their schools to bring about positive change. As seen in IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework, a key element is having access to disaggregated data in ways that are meaningful and actionable. Anne Foster, executive director of Parents for Public Schools, describes how PPS is training parents to interpret data and to better understand how schools and school boards function. She gives several examples of transformations that have occurred as a result, like improving science achievement and dramatically improving graduation rates. Anne is interviewed by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center and a member of the PPS advisory board. Send comments to
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* Anne outlines the Parents for Public Schools (PPS) mission to engage parents and community members in supporting public education; she also recounts the organization's beginnings in 1989.
* Anne explains how PPS chapters across the country tailor their work and activities to the most pressing issues in their local communities.
* Anne talks about the importance of understanding education data. She outlines the work of the parent leadership institute, which teaches parents how to read and interpret data and then apply that knowledge to projects in their own school districts.
* Anne shares the success stories of two
Mississippi parent groups, who studied the data for their children's schools and then created programs to raise science test scores and graduation rates.
* Anne talks about the challenges of moving parents forward on the engagement spectrum and helping them to secure funding for their PPS chapters.
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