Services, Tools, Programs & Resources ​​
Capacity Development Programming

How do parents know what they do not know if they lack access to  key information supportive of student achievement? How are they empowered to ask key questions about  federal, state and local school concerns if they are not provided with a wide range of meaningful choices from which to choose to make informed decisions about public school priorities?

What we do to address this concern:

We offer capacity building workshops --- for parents who are interested in supporting 
transparency and accountability in public school governance and decision-making tied to
student achievement.

To this end, state, district and local school systems (and/or parents, community stakeholders and educational representatives) as well as community and political organizations, etc. may request research syntheses pertaining to educational subjects important to them.  

They may also request assistance if they wish to build and/or maintain an ongoing culture of inquiry leading to and supportive of knowledge creation, exchange and use --- linked to school effectiveness. 

This includes contacting us if they want to remain up-to-date about "specific" research-based studies and programming and/or want to compare and contrast what researchers are saying about a variety of subjects. This can cover the research reviews of a variety of organizations who are focusing on a specific subject, for example: " what must state education agencies, school districts, researchers, and funders consider when making smart, evidence-based curricular choices ?"  Examples then can  include comparing and contrasting research results based on the subjects that parents and community stakeholders are interested in learning more about --- such as research-based summer reading instruction or math instruction and if a program is actually research-based with proven results . Another example parents and community stakeholders may want to explore and learn more about from this perspective is the achievement gap. For instance, they, of course, know it exists but they do not know how or if it is being addressed or when it was last addressed in certain states, districts and schools. 

COPACS' purpose, therefore, at its root, underscores the importance of knowlege-building through a culture of inquiry that is transparent and accountable to and for all stakeholders. This type of knowledge-building deepens and advances buy-in and the legitimacy of public school decision-making processes and structures. These processes and structures, in turn, are maintained by creating in a timely fashion opportunity spaces for parents and community stakeholders to gain access to pertinent information pertaining to student achievement.  

To meet this need, COPACS offers its members a wide range of programming that seeks to create a deeper understanding of a variety of subjects that school systems may or not focus on through workshops, seminars, information fairs, and educational institutes. Stakeholders may also request webinars, briefs, supplemental guides, hand-outs and educational tools for specific learning events, etc.  

These learning events ensure that parents and community stakeholders have access to the latest gold and/or evidenced-based findings (best practices) and lessons learned supportive of the best possible solutions tied to positive student outcomes --- on an on-going basis. 

For more information, please contact us at: info@copacs.org or call (202)-534-1754.

Our "Born to Learn" capacity development topics include but are not limited to: :
  • The Purpose & History of ESEA
  • Implementing ESSA
  • What Are The ESSA Reporting Requirements?
  • Defining & Studying the Purpose of ESSA Stakeholder Engagement 
  • Is Your State Accountability Plan Addressing the Needs of Underserved Students? 
  • In Search Of A Wider Audience For Research Findings ---   Many parents and community stakeholders do not know about key research studies that support student achievement. This workshop focuses on this overwhelming need by reviewing the work of outstanding researchers who have produced high, quality research studies tied to student achievement. This overall goal is to ensure that educational research is easy-to-understand, discover, explore and discuss with all audiences in mind.
  • Can we talk? What do education journalists who cover high performing school systems around the world know about school effectiveness tied to student achievement?*
  • Understanding the Purpose of NAEP, PISA, TIMMS and Statewide Assessments 
  • Understanding Quality Classroom Instruction, etc. Connected to Student Achievement (On Any Given Day) 
  • Understanding and Interpeting ESSA by Determining How It Is Impacting the Lived Experiences of All Stakeholders  
  • Participatory Democracy: Building the Foundation for Interactions Between Parents & Schools
  • Reviewing Best Practices & Lessons Learned tied to Equity and Excellence in Schools 
  • How to Build a Social Equity Framework
  • Understanding  Policy Development, Research & Its Analysis at the State, District and School Levels
  • State Accountability Plans, the Status Quo & Stakeholder Engagement 
  • Ways to Strengthen Stakeholder Voice, Influence & Agency Aligned With Positive Student Outcomes  --- Supported by Gold or Evidenced-based Research & Lessons Learned
  • Strategies to Strengthen Student Voice & Empowerment  in Public Schools --- Supported by Gold or Evidenced-based Research & Lessons Learned
  • Developing Opportunity Structures for Stakeholder Engagement in Educational Systems 
  • Understanding State, District and School Report Cards  (including their requirements and reporting deadlines)
  • Exploring & Understanding the Power Dynamics in Public School Systems, including Power Imbalances 
  • Exploring the ARVIN Analytical Framework & Assessment Tool
  • Promoting Transparency & Accountability in Public School Governance, Discourse & Decision-making Tied to Student Achievement  --- Supported by Gold or Evidenced-based Research(Topics of Concern: School Choice, School Turnarounds, Studies Tied to Teacher Effectiveness and Student Achievement or Classroom Instruction/What Students Should Expect ,  State Standards & Assessments,   Equity & Excellence in Schools , Parent and Community Stakeholder Voice, Agency  & Influence in Schools, etc.)
  • Understanding Social Capital According to James Coleman
  • How to Create Socially Cohesive School Communities (focusing on inclusivity, buy-in, reciprocity, trust and the legitimacy of public school decisions, etc.)

*If the transparency and accountability process is to be a legitimate one parents and community stakeholders must be included in school-based conversations on an equal basis with other entities (i.e., all of the unions connected to school representatives). They must attend the meetings where critical topics are debated. When this goal is achieved, strong parent groups and their members (rather than those who serve at the whims of school officials and unions) must have an equal say in state, district and schoo-based decisions. In other words, without parents and community stakeholders' input, voice and influence it is impossible for school-based decisions to really count. For example, the unions  could say: "we want  teacher effectiveness defined, etc.  in this way" and nobody is really expected to disagree with them. In this light, let the unions speak for their members --- but parents and community stakeholders must be allowed to truly speak on behalf of children or with the best interests of children in mind, too. 

Services include but are not limited to:

  • The research and development of specific content for websites, newsletters, workshops and retreat programming or presentations, etc., including the development and design of training materials
  • The development of parent and community stakeholder training and curriculum materials
  • The development of research syntheses pertaining to best practices and lessons learned in parent and community engagement, etc. 
  • The development of research syntheses based on capacity building tools, techniques, trends, models, and organizational approaches that support  parent and community stakeholder engagement tied to student achievement 
  • The development of analytical frameworks for parent and community stakeholder engagement  tied to transparency and accountability in school governance, discourse adn decision-making 
  • Research syntheses focusing on case studies tied to underserved students (lessons learned), including but not limited to   school board/school district decisions   that promote equality, social inclusion and/or high expectations for all students in contrast to  inequality , segregation , the school to prison pipeline , etc.
  • The coordination and development of parent and community stakeholder assessments  tied to transparency and accountability in school governance, discourse and decision-making 
  • The development of reports for workshops focusing on ESSA Title One funding   data --- or formulas (if they exist; sometimes they don't) at the state and local levels, including how funds are used and  tied to student outcomes
  • The development and identification of research-based strategies associated with genuine parent and community stakeholder engagement initiatives
  • The development of reports comparing and contrasting  stakeholder initiatives controlled by the status quo with those that serve genuine stakeholder engagement initiatives --- from a historical perspective
  • The development of MOOCs (online courses) and study guides for parent and community stakeholder engagement  tied to student achievement and,
  • Assistance with grant development.