Education

Agency of Education creates ‘Family Engagement Council’

Initial focus on education quality, equity

By Brent Addleman | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Getting parents more involved in their children’s education in Vermont is the focus of a new council.

The Agency of Education announced it is creating a Family Engagement Council, which is designed to advise the secretary of education on policy and topics of interest of parents in Vermont.

“The idea for this group was born out of an observation that there is not a strong state-level mechanism for parent involvement in the development of Vermont education policy,” Secretary of Education Dan French said in a release. “We need to incorporate parent voices in the development of state-level education policy to ensure our policies are meeting the future needs of our students.”

According to the release, the council will be comprised of 10 to 15 parents, guardians, and family members of students who are enrolled in schools in Vermont. The agency is currently seeking applications for those interested in serving on the council.

Education policy, according to the release, will be the focus of the council, which is designed to establish a modern-day education system in the state that would work to support future success of students.

Vermont looked at models in North Carolina, North Dakota and Connecticut to fully establish the educational policy development process in the state.

“We have partners representing almost every other group in education,” French said in the release. “From superintendents and school board members, to educators, school counselors and facilities managers, we have groups organized to provide a voice for their members at the state and local level.

“There is no organization providing a similar voice for parents. This group won’t be an answer for every challenge, but our goal is to incorporate parent involvement in AOE’s policy development process and provide a platform for parents to participate in statewide conversations on education policy.”

French said he will appoint members to two-year terms, and membership is to be modeled after the state’s geographic, gender, socio-economic, and racial and ethnic diversities.

In the first year, according to the release, the council’s focus will be on education quality and equity.

Applications are due by Dec. 18 to be considered for the council, according to the release. The first meeting is scheduled for January 2023.

Categories: Education

7 replies »

  1. “French said he will appoint members to two-year terms, and membership is to be modeled after the state’s geographic, gender, socio-economic, and racial and ethnic diversities”

    Is this another committee where white people will be denied from participation, as the above sentence is concerning. Please provide a breakdown of the selection criteria by race and gender.

  2. When the taxpayer cost to educate a Vermont elementary public-school student is almost as much as sending an undergraduate to one of Vermont’s State University schools, including room and board, and only half its public-school graduates meet grade level standards, a Family Engagement Council seems nothing more than any of the various perfunctory public-school outreach programs that have, for years, been ineffective. As a former Vermont public-school board director, it was and remains clear that while the Agency of Education listens, it rarely, if ever, follows any parental or sympathetic school board recommendations.

    There’s nothing like free market competition to improve goods and services, be they publicly or independently provided. Vermont public-school enrollment has declined 15% in the last decade while independent and homeschool registrations increased 8%. The VT AOE is only just beginning to recognize that it must change its policies or fade into oblivion.

    As the saying goes: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The VT AOE will likely never figure out how to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, even with this latest offering. Caveat emptor.

  3. Great! Another belch into the wind from Secretary NothingEducationBurger.

    “In the first year, according to the release, the council’s focus will be on education quality and equity.” OF COURSE they will.

  4. The best thing a a family can do for their l… child is to disengage from the public schools and homeschool

  5. Dan French and the educrats in Montpelier have no interest in responding to Vermont families in any meaningful way. Vermont has not had a decentralized education system since the passage of Act 60 in 1997. The smartest move a parent and family can do for their child is to get them out of government run schools.

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