A team from the National Equity Project is working with Excellent Schools Detroit this week to train and support parents and community organizations to conduct formal site visits of their schools and evaluate school quality. This initiative is part of Excellent Schools Detroit’s overall school quality strategy and an opportunity for parents to provide input into how schools improve and how parents choose schools.
We showed parents a video about the parent organizing in Oakland that we helped facilitate with the Oakland Community Organizations (here is a similar video that’s available on line). We shared our belief that parents and communities can hold schools accountable for quality and can do so through productive relationships with teachers and staff.
In Detroit we are facilitating a community conversations where parents are sharing the ways in which they already assess schools, capturing their insights and concerns, and then Excellent Schools Detroit will develop a standard school site visit rubric for parents to use when walking through schools empowered as community representatives.