CPS Effort to Engage Parents Arouses Skepticism
(Chicago News Cooperative) — The new leadership at Chicago Public Schools is taking another crack at one of the district’s thorniest problems: Involving parents in their children’s education. Parents, administrators and critics, who are skeptical and frustrated by past failures, say they hope the effort pays off this time. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new public schools team announced Wednesday that members were delivering on their promise to help parents navigate a system long known for its bureaucratic complexity by creating a Chief Community and Family Engagement Officer, which they say will make the nation’s third-largest school system become more parent-friendly. Research shows that parents’ relationship with a school district is vital to students’ success, but in Chicago, parents have long been left out of the equation, said Julie Woestehoff, executive director for Parents United for Responsible Education, a parent activist group.