​​
What Are Some of the Benefits of Joining COPACS?



Everybody knows that the U.S.  public education system has overlooked or simply ignored a wide range of educational issues and concerns (throughout the nation) for years. This so-called unintentional (?) failure to notice or to question why the U.S. has become less competitive on a global scale for all students --- (in spite of the passage of ESEA 1965 and its many reauthorizations) --- is a matter of neglect on many different levels  due to an undermining of American democratic principles and social justice. Transparency and accountability goals, especially in public school  governance tied to school achievement, therefore, remain critical concerns at the foundational level since public school officials and special  interest groups dominate the conversations connected to schools.   

With these concerns in mind, there is an urgent need for the public to be informed and engaged in public school conversations if schools are to improve, at all. (At last count over half of U.S. public schools were failing.) Yet, many Americans, even highly educated Americans, have never even heard about ESEA 1965, let alone ESSA. Why?   This question, in and of itself, may show that " principals, board members, and administrators — operate with an assumed “logic of confidence” between public schools and their constituents ---- a strategy that allows them to buffer schools from outside inspection, interference, or disruption ."

On the other hand, it may prove that our nation views the U.S. public education system as a low priority area in which the educational needs of children can be,   without much fanfare, underserved --- unless something happens or some new information is revealed causing the public to react to it. For instance, consider the overall low NAEP scores for high school students across the nation in comparison to other nations or  that " two-thirds (68 percent) of U.S. high school students do not know that it took a constitutional amendment to formally end slavery ." What then can parents and community stakeholders do to improve student achievement? Why are there schools in the United States of America without one student who is proficient in reading or math?

To address these concerns, COPACS mission emphasizes the importance of a well informed and aware citizenry whose overall purpose is to deepen and advance transparency and accountability in public school governance, discourse and decision-making connected to student learning. This includes capacity development tied to best practices and lessons learned in school effectiveness. Note: Capacity development changes things since it “reconfigures the balance of influence and power” by ensuring that parents and community stakeholders are able to contribute to the discussions centering on school quality and student achievement.  

This  goal also encourages and allows a broader representation of the school community to contribute to educational solutions. It also creates a unifying force of parents and community stakeholders who are committed to public school effectiveness. These stakeholders are willing to  attend school meetings and, in the process,  determine agenda items that can lead to state and local educational priorities and timelines that support ESSA's effective implementation. (Note: Since 1965, ESEA's implementation (along wiht each of its reauthorizations) has never been fully realized in any state across the nation due to lax oversight goals on many fronts (Consider that ESEA Title One funds that were intended for underserved students are still redistributed to wealthier districts and schools in many states!), coupled with the voices and input of political conservatives who say that they oppose federal overeach at the state and local levels. (Some say this conservative stance is really due to their need to promote political patronage or clientalism at the state and local levels without the federal government disrupting this process.) Parents and community stakeholders then can shed light  on specific educational goals and their implementation and, in turn, the much needed oversight goals that need to exist in each state, district and school in order to create successful educational outcomes  for public school children, first and foremost.  

But, there are other added benefits that go along with this goal.  Note: Public school students tend to be more responsible for their own learning when they know that the adults in their lives care about their education. (This purpose  not only applies to  parents and community stakeholders but also to teachers and school officials.)  When they see stakeholders making demands on schools to address specific educational priorities things improve for students as well as the wider school community. 

Students also need to know that they are safe when they attend school. School safety then  is the most urgent priority area  for the public to address . While priority areas can change with each public school community there is, at least, an agreement across the nation that students must always expect to be safe at school.  As a result, the debates centering on public school safety issues include everything from lax gun control legislation to deficiencies in school safety provisions  and/or the neglect of  basic school safety protocols .

The solution? Parents and community stakeholders must take part in these discussions. Why? Currently, Secretary DeVos and the Federal Commission on School Safety are recommending that teachers take on the additional role of arming themselves to protect children from gun violence, etc. in schools. This means that t ransparency and accountability in public school governance  must now include, in the age of mass shootings and  gun lobbyists, discussions on gun violence in a culture that creates the conditions for the proliferation of guns as if our leaders somehow know that all  individuals who buy a gun (legally or illegally) will use them  responsibly . This is irresponsibility at an extreme level.  As a result, this gap in reasoning on the part of elected officials widens the role of parents and community stakeholders in addressing this need. It means they must attend hearings and interact with these same politicians at a foundational level and challenge their positions on gun control laws or their lack of urgency on mass shootings in schools. Why? Republicans still dominate and limit the quality of these discussions based on their long-standing " craven subservience to the gun lobbists who have prevented meaningful action from taking place ."  

 Consider this statement made on February 15,  2001: 

             After countless other shooting tragedies, Congress cannot guarantee that it never happens again because                        one year later Congress has not worked seriously to reduce youth access to guns or to pass legislation that                       will make our nation's children safer.

Seventeen years later, and Congress is still moving at a snail's pace by failing to connect the dots leading back to political decisions. But, who is making demands on these conservative elected officials? Americans still have not witnessed any quality, research-based overall gun control legislation or federal standards to speak about --- except for the fact that elected officials have given themselves a snail's pass for their lack of action on this matter, leaving Americans to ask what do politicians do? Parents and community stakeholders must be the ones who ensure that  American children are safe at schools and demand that elected elected officials stop procrastinating when it comes to the real solutions that prevent  mass shootings.  For example, " Massachusetts is the only state that requires that all firearms must be stored with a locking device . . ."  

But, add on the fact that the U.S. does not even have any federal standards for locking devices. . ." means that any claim that conservative politicians (in particular) think that they can make about trying to prevent  firearm deaths is a lie. (Consider the six year old who had access to the gun that killed Kayla Rolland or that Nicholas Cruz had access to a AR 15 rifle that murdered 17 individuals even though the rifle was, purportedly, under lock and key.) Parents and community stakeholdres then must ensure that these discussions are not controlled and dominated by special interest groups, gun lobbyists or associations such as the NRA (an association that supports the proliferation of guns in America) --- or pro-gun groups who appear to dictate what Republican politicians  say and do when it comes to the safety of children. The question remains or is a long standing one that centers on whether or not politicians who take millions of dollars from the NRA will ever disagree with them for the sake of children and, finally, support research-based safety solutions  --- something that should have been done decades ago.  Presently, the answer is still no.  Given these facts, parent and school official debates must demand   procedural justice and/or fair, actionable goals in schools that underscore the importance of bonafide, research-based (proven) solutions on a wide range of subjects.  

Overall, the topics that parents are concerned about will vary but they should be tied to  best practices and lessons learned. These topics should underscore educational fairness and equity as well as school safety otherwise these issues will continue to be overlooked. To this end, COPACS helps to create the platforms, research syntheses and opportunity spaces for these conversations to take place. These topics include but are not limited to:

​ESEA/ESSA
Title One
School Choice
Parents & Community Stakeholders
Transparency & Accountability in Public School Governance
Traditional Schools
Charter Schools
The Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Aligned Curriculum (Research Based)
The Common Core State Standards Aligned Tests
Early Childhood Development
Teacher Effectiveness
Instructional Leadership
Student Voice & Engagement
Special Education.
When, Where & How Dreams Are Realized
Underserved Children & Lessons Learned
School Finance
Questions for Politicians & School Officials

 

By Joining COPACS. . .

  • You will learn about ESEA 1965 and its many reauthorizations, including ESSA --- supported by optional supplemental guides (fee-based starting November 23rd) that are only available to members. 
  • You will explore and learn about a wide range of educational topics that impact positive student outcomes --- supported by optional supplemental guides (fee-based starting November 23rd) for discussion groups that are only available to members.
  • You will understand why attending legislative hearings and/or following what your federal, state, and local leaders do and say are all tied to positive student outcomes ---outcomes backed by research or high, quality proven data.
  • You will gain access to up-to-date information focusing on the latest educational issues and political concerns --- including if --- or how states, districts and schools across the nation are addressing these critical concerns from safety to school funding concerns. 
  • You will gain access to research-based syntheses, PowerPoint presentations, webinars ---and conference call options focusing on critical issues, etc.
  • You will learn about the individuals as well as educational and research organizations that have supported school effectiveness or best practices and lessons learned tied to student achievement, including why this goal is important. 
  • You will gain access to studies that support stakeholder engagement in public and private school systems, etc. based on gold and/or evidence-based research.
  • You will learn how to support and promote transparency and accountability in school governance, discourse and decision-making tied to student achievement and most importantly, school safety. 
  • You will gain access to an up-to-date calendar of workshops and conferences that focus on parent and community stakeholder events, etc.


Membership Information
 
 
Parents, community stakeholders, parent advocates, parent educators, parent practitioners who would like to learn more about
strong parent engagement tied to real solutions 
should email us at info@copacs.org.