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Key Things Parents Can Do To Make Sure Their Children Are Prepared For The 21st Century (page 2)

— U.S. Department of Education
Updated on Jul 26, 2007

Get involved in helping your child's school improve.

  • When a school is identified for improvement, meaning it has not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for at least two consecutive years, school officials are required to work with parents, school staff, the local educational agency, and outside experts to develop a plan to improve the school.
  • If a school does not make AYP for five years, it moves into the "restructuring" phase. The district must initiate plans to restructure the school in the sixth year. Options include reopening the school as a charter school, replacing the school staff, or turning over school operations to the State or a private education company with a demonstrated record of effectiveness.
  • The Department of Education has numerous resources to help students and their schools improve academic performance, including Early Reading First and Reading First grants, Teaching American History grants, Improving Literacy Through School Libraries grants, and many others.
Take Action:
  • Find out if your child's school is "in need of improvement." If it is, ask if there is a plan in place to help your child's school improve.
  • Find out if the school is in the "restructuring" phase. If so, ask if there is a plan for turning the school around.
  • Find out if your child's school district is receiving any competitive NCLB grants. Encourage your child's school district to apply for all the NCLB grants for which it is eligible. A list of discretionary grants is available at: http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps.

Take advantage of the new opportunities NCLB may provide for your child.

  • NCLB requires States and school districts to give parents easy-to-read, detailed report cards on schools and districts, telling them which ones are succeeding and why.
  • NCLB gives students in schools "in need of improvement" the opportunity to transfer to another public school or public charter school in the district. If a school is in need of improvement for at least two years, low-income students then become eligible to receive Supplemental Educational Services (SES), such as free tutoring.
Take Action:
  • Make sure you receive a report card on your child's school and that it is easy to understand. If you don't receive a school report card or if it is hard to decipher, contact your child's school district.
  • Do you know whether or not your child is eligible to transfer to another public school or receive free tutoring? If you are not sure, contact your school district. Take advantage of these opportunities for your child.
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