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Duval's parent academy, potential success or wasted money (rough draft)

From the Times Union: Like most initiatives, the Parent Academy's goal is student success. Vitti said with only two years of data, it is too soon to tell if the children of parents who've attended the program are doing better. He said the district intends to track data in the coming years.

http://jacksonville.com/news/schools/2015-07-31/story/parental-supervision-advised-duval-push-parental-involvement-working

When I read quotes like this from the district it makes me believe the parent academy, an idea which I like a lot, has been a disaster and a huge waste of money. You see this district loves to spin data to give themselves pats on the back.

Just this week they trumpeted the improvements in the FAA test grades. They didn't say, we have improved from last year, instead they stopped just short of throwing a parade.

http://duvalschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceI

Then I have written several times how they cheered a two percent gain in student engagement on a recent Gallup poll. In both of these instance the district either didn't need two years worth of data or two years was long enough to say, hey look how great we are doing.

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2014/12/math-experts-finds-district-response-to.html

My point is the district takes every opportunity to spin things in their favor, heck Vitti once said standing pat on the new FSA tests was actually an improvement, that it makes me think that the district doesn't know if the parent academy is working or not.

Like I said I like the idea of the parent academy and I know it seems like I come off hard on the superintendent but I like some of his other ideas too, the problem and what I don't like has been the half ass implementation of those ideas. (ISSP, arts and music)

This is what I think, the Times Union has reported 8,000 parents have participated in the parent academy. First I don't believe that number for a second, now I may be wrong but I know at my school which has gone all out and the program has grown it's generally the same six or seven parents plus a couple more here and there. I also reached out to another school and they told me they have had zero parents involved but they also lamented about the options their parents were given, which this past year was just two and at times that weren't convenient.

Second even if the number is less like I believe then the program is still worthwhile, we just have to make sure we are doing it right.

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