English Language Learning
Parent Involvement: Major Resources, Linkages and Information Available at OELA to Assist State Education Agencies
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) defines parental involvement as regular, two-way, and meaningful communication between parents and schools to ensure that parents are full partners in their children's educational experience.
The vision of the Secretary of Education and the Director of the Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA) is that parents, community organizations, and governmental agencies will work together to make sure that no child is left behind.
James H. Lockhart (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the specialist on the OELA staff who has the responsibility of identifying and developing human and material resources to support this vision; forming linkages with other parent outreach specialists at the local, state, and Federal levels; and assisting the parents of English language learners (ELLs) to understand their rights and responsibilities under the Law.
The OELA Parent Involvement Specialist maintains an on-going, working relationship with his counterparts in other program offices, particularly those offices that specifically address parent involvement under NCLB. This includes the Office of Educational Partnerships and Family Involvement; the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; the Office for Civil Rights; the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools; and the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
External to ED
OELA has established linkages with such organizations as the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE), the nation's largest consortium of parent outreach specialists. Included in the membership of NCPIE are such well-known organizations as the National PTA; the Council of Chief State School Officers; the National Education Association; and the National Council of La Raza. OELA will work with this coalition in their efforts to focus on the specific needs of the parents of English language learners.
OELA is creating a National Parent Involvement Team consisting of three representatives of State Education Agencies; three members of the staff of OELA's Division of Consolidated State Grants; a representative from the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition; and OELA's Parent Involvement Specialist to further develop this plan.
The following specific support services, information, and resources are either immediately available to State and local educational agencies, or are in the process of development, in pursuit of the effective involvement of the parents of English language learners nationwide:
- A brochure, for distribution, training, and presentation purposes that outlines, in layman's language, the parents' and schools' rights and responsibilities under Title III, NCLB (available in Spanish and English).
- A National Parent Leadership Training Workshop to facilitate the development of a national cadre of parent leaders to assist parents of English language learners to understand their rights and responsibilities under the Law. (This session will be planned in conjunction with the OELA Summit of 2003.)
- Creation, with the assistance of State Education Agencies, community organizations, Federal government parent specialists, and others, of the National Coalition of Parents of English Language Learners (NCPELL). The purpose of this organization is to expand the network of parents of ELL's who are knowledgeable about the provisions of and their rights under Title III, NCLB.
- Print resources, written in a language that parents can understand, to further assist parents to understand their rights and responsibilities under the Law and to assist them in being a resource to their children in the learning process. (Such a document as "Helping Your Child Learn English" is an example of this type of resource.)
- Continuing communication between the OELA Parent Specialist, OELA's Division of Consolidated State Grants, the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA), the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, and (when established), and the State Education Agencies for the purpose of sharing of information on effective parent involvement practices throughout the country.