Supporting Decision Making and Advocacy

Supporting Decision Making and Advocacy

The tools and resources in this module support programs that are committed to shared decision making and advocacy. Empowering families to help solve problems, discuss program effectiveness, prioritize spending, spending priorities, and develop policies, sends a powerful message about collaboration, equity and access.

The findings presented by Henderson and Mapp have shown that schools with parents who are involved in decision making and advocacy have higher levels of student achievement and public support. Effective partnerships develop when each partner is respected and empowered to fully participate in the decision-making process.

Effective PracticesQuick Tips / Effective Practices

The sample practices listed below focus on supporting decision making and advocacy. Click on the self-assessment and resources/recursos for tools and additional practices in each module.

  • Actively recruit and engage parents in developing and supporting district and school wide policies and improvement plans such as the Educational Plan for Student Success (EPSS), parent advisory committees, Title I, Bilingual Education, and Indian Education parental involvement requirements, and on staff hiring committees.
  • Treat parent concerns, suggestions and ideas with respect and demonstrate genuine interest in developing solutions. Create and adhere a policy to always follow up with families in a timely manner (within 24 hours).
  • Share the school and district annual reports of overall student and school achievement, school programs, and other initiatives with families. Use open meetings, events, Web sites and newsletters, etc. to create safe opportunities for families to ask questions and provide input.
  • Include parent leaders from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and other groups on advisory councils, action teams, and committees. Include student representatives in elementary, middle, and high schools along with parents on committees.
  • Encourage and facilitate parent participation in PTA or other parent organizations, advisory councils or committees for parent leadership and participation.
  • Provide parents with user-friendly information for voting in local, state, and federal elections on officials and issues that affect education.
  • Engage in the professional development opportunities throughout this module including a self-assessment, effective practices, research, resources in English and Spanish, videos, and links to NM Teacher Competencies.