“Is My Child Ready?” was launched this week by the Mayor’s Office of Education Initiatives. The program’s work is to engage parents so that they may get more involved in their children’s education.
The campaign coincides with the release of students’ STAAR test results by area school districts scheduled for this spring. The STAAR exams are part of the state’s new standardized academic accountability system. The campaign will target “hard to reach” parents to encourage them to ask their schools key questions about their children’s performance on the STAAR test.
The commitment I liked most was this.
The campaign will promote parents’ long-term involvement in their children’s education with an emphasis on post-secondary readiness. Currently, more than half of Texas freshmen in two-year colleges and nearly a fourth in four-year schools require remedial courses. Deficient academic preparation also leads to low rates of college completion.
While Texas legislators are seeking ways of blaming college advising and student services offices as a means of cutting their budgets, it is good to see Mayor Parker promoting a solution, rather than some punitive measure, like I expect the Lege to do. It seems she knows one of the roots of the problem, so, hopefully, the Lege will follow suit and commit to these types of programs, too.
And it’s bilingual, too.
The multi-media campaign will deliver messages in various formats, including billboards, signage on METRO buses, electronic communications via SMS texts, emails and campaign websites and posters at libraries, multi-service centers and schools throughout the Houston region. Public information sessions for parents will also be held.
TEXT “READY” or “LISTO” to 91011
The campaign invites parents to text “READY” to 91011 or visit www.ismychildready.org for key facts and specific questions to ask schools about their children’s STAAR test scores. Spanish-speaking parents can text “LISTO” to 91011 or visit the campaign’s Spanish language website www.estalistomihijo.org.
“We want parents to talk with teachers and counselors and become informed on what they can do every day to help their children do well in the classroom,” said Mark Cueva, Mayor’s Office of Education Initiatives division manager. “Asking questions about a student’s performance on the STAAR test and what parents can do to help that child do better is a good starting point.”
For full information about the campaign, visit www.ismychildready.org.
Way to go, Mayor! Every bit counts in this effort! Perhaps partnering with local higher education institutions is a good next step?