Transparency and Accountability in State, District & School Governance, Discourse and Decision-making
What You Should Know About Transparency, Answerability & Responsiveness in the US Public School System 
For the MLK & the Purpose of Education Blog, Click Here.
For the Purpose of Public Engagement in Schools Blog (Part I), Click Here .
For the Instructional Leadership Blog, Click Here an d   Here.  

In the 2017/2018 school year, states were given an additional year to provide parents with information on actual school spending.  Actual school spending amounts have r emained a mystery for a very, very  long time. The time, however, has come for these reports to be made available to the public. It helps if this type of  information is made available before the start of the new school year. Ask your state officials about these reports that are now due. 

Is your state ending or delaying the tying of teacher evaluations
to student test results? Note:  State decision-making  must respond
to the needs of the public, first and foremost.
For more info, please refer to  this article .
For a lesson learned, click here .  

​What do you know about teacher expectations of their students of color? Click here t o learn more. 

Does your state have a statewide family engagement center? Probably not. Click here to find out.
If your state is not on this list call your elected officials to better understand the answer to  this question. If it is on the list you still have to ask how the achievement gap is being addressed across this nation (or in your state/district/school) and why certain funding awards do not always mean parents are being served (or if they really know and understand what is going on in schools). For instance, in MD half of their students are not proficient in reading or math.  These centers are wortthless if they are not teaching parents how to hold school officials accountable for school effectiveness.  

What do you know about your state and district report cards 
(that were due on December 31, 2018)?
Click here here , here,   here,  and  here to learn more. 
Note: State report cards must be developed in consultation with parents  and community stakeholders ---- and the information must be provided in a language that parents understand. These parents and community stakeholders must not be cherry-picked or chosen by school, district or state officials. . . and/or exclusively by organizations that receive grants from --- ("that would serve as patronage or  clientelism"  ) ----  (or by PTA cliques .)

What do you know about state education performance standards that still vary widely across the nation?
Is an "A" in one state still a "D" in another one?
Click here here , here ,  here and here to learn more. 

What do you know about the
Federal Commission on School Safety?
Click here here , here ,   here,  here,  here  and here to learn more. 

What do you know about the ESSA mandate
focusing on school disparities?  Click here to learn more.

What do you know about 
The ESSA implementation requirements (or the call for the decade after decade need for transparency) --- that are tied to the comparison of school by school funding data?
Click  here and here to learn more. 

What Do You Know About Your State's Constitution? 
Does your state guarantee that each student will receive a high, quality education or a minimally adequate education? To learn more: 
click herehere, herehere, here and here.

What You should Know About 
ESSA Regulatory Burdens

For more information click  here and here.  

Public Comments on Executive Order 13777.  To learn more about this subject, click here or here
Note ( cross referenced): "The Executive Order exceeds President Trump’s constitutional authority, violates his duty under the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, and directs federal agencies to engage in unlawful actions that will harm countless Americans. . ." 

The Republicans ignored the voices of 21, 000 citizens when they used the CRA  to overlook "research, analyses and public input previously, "   (Note: "T he CRA allowed Congress to repeal recently issued public protections using expedited procedures that do away with hearings, committee votes, or having to overcome a filibuster in the U.S. Senate. This made the CRA the perfect vehicle for corporate lobbyists to cut backroom deals with Republicans in Congress to kill rules that were overwhelmingly popular with the public.")

Parents and community stakeholders must let Secretary DeVos know that Education  regulations must be based on the enforcement of civil rights.  DeVos must provide assurances that  equity  & excellence are truly  the Trump Administration's priorities for serving all 50.4 million public school children98, 300  U.S. public schools  and
13, 500  districts across the nation.

In estimating the "burden of unnecessary education regulations in education,“ they must support the need for a research-based analysis of all regulatory reform efforts and determine whether or not an executive order (overall) is unconstitutional. They must ensure that  transparency matters.  They must stop underestimating the importance of buy-in from the public  tied to pertinent decisions leading to the legitimacy or final approval of any plans.

To review previous discussions on how Trump/DeVos, etc.  have already impacted children and schools click here and  here.    Click here to review a 2011 hearing to learn how both conservatives and progressives tend to view regulatory burdens tied to ESEA . 

Explore, Discover, Learn, Discuss

'Red States' Rank Low
On The HDI.

This Index reflects the
policy choices of politicians. 

Note: The Human Development Index (HDI) is a
summary measure of average achievement
in key dimensions of  human development:
a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable
and having  a decent standard of living.  

Click here  and here to learn more.

Note: Children need parents and
community stakeholders (or the public)
to join the discussions focusing on
educational concerns and issues 
before any   policy decisions take place. 



To Learn more about:
Pathways to Accountability, click here.  

Voice, Empowerment & Accountability
Click here to read this guide.

Dismantling Public Accountability &
Transparency  in the Name of Accountability & Transparency?

Click here ​ to read this article. 

The Unacknowledged Limitations of 
Performance Standards
Click here to read this article. . .
(Does this problem stem from weak transparency and accountability structures and processes in school systems? In other words, is it really about the lack of morality, motivation, incentives, know-how and/or the down- right  inability of school representatives to
serve or to be public servants
for the sake of  students?)   

Finding the Spaces for Change:
A Power Analysis
Click here to learn more. 
                                                                        Related Materials
To build your knowledge base, please refer to the following articles.
This information is based on the public views of a wide range of experts who understand 
the importance of  transparency and accountability in school governance.

The State: How Leadership Influences Student Learning  

Teachers' Unions & Collective Bargaining Laws

Tools for Analyzing Power
in Multi-stakeholder Processes 

Is Congress the Broken Branch?

48 Ways Managers Abuse Their Power and Destroy Employee Engagement

Continuing to Trade One Form of Discrimination for Another

The Partisanship of Bipartisanship

Can Citizens Influence Legislation ?

From the archives ---  Eleanor Roosevelt on Human Rights

The Declaration Rights of the Child  and why won't the US. ratify the UN's Child Rights Treaty?  
Guiding principles:
Although the Convention has 54 articles in all, it is guided by four fundamental principles.
Non-discrimination (article 2): You should neither benefit nor suffer because of your race, colour, gender, language, religion, or national, social or ethnic origin, or
because of any political or other opinion; because of your caste, property or birth status; or because you are disabled.
The best interests of the child (article 3): Laws and actions affecting children should put your best interests first and benefit you in the best possible way.
Survival, development and protection (article 6): The authorities in your country must protect you and help ensure your full development – physical, spiritual, moral and social. Participation (article 12): You have a right to have your say in decisions that affect you, and to have you opinions taken into account.

The Basis of the Convention of the Rights of the Child

Donald Trump’s Unconstitutional Executive Order on Regulations
(. . . "a blunderbuss that shoots down the entire regulatory system—
a system that has long and effectively protected Americans.")


Christopher Edley on Race, Equity and the Continuous Improvement of our Education System and here.

Books  and Sudies of Interest 

 Power and Powerlessness by John Gavent (Review)
Please note: The link refers to  an excerpt or chapter one of
Gaventa's book: Power & Powerlessness.  Since parents are often accused of
not wanting to participate in schools he offers a different view of  quiescence,
which I have cross-referenced for public school parents and community stakeholders.
Parents and Schools, the 150-year Struggle for Control in American Education" By William W. Cutler, III
This is also an excerpt and should be discussed to better understand the history of parents and schools.
A New Weave of Power, People & Politics:
The Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation

Who Is Empowered by the Regulatory Process?
(This book: The Politics of Regulatory Reform addresses this question.)

"The CRA was not a good idea to begin with,
and the public is paying a steep price for its use."