Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 25, 2013

Group pushes parental involvement

TAHLEQUAH — Public education is often considered the first rung on the ladder to success for children.

Having informed and involved parents is vital to achieving academic standards that prepare students for college-level curriculum or provide career-ready skills and abilities.

Seven years ago, a small group of Tulsa parents banded together to pose questions to school administrators and state legislators about classroom conditions and state laws that influence their children’s ability to learn. In the beginning, there were only about 12 members of the Tulsa Area Parent Legislative Action Committee, but since its creation, the group has grown to over 750 members.

Union Public Schools parent and PLAC Parent Coordinator Michelle Jones was on hand Wednesday night at Indian Capital Technology Center to share the history of the group and explain why establishing a local chapter could make a difference in public education locally.

“We are parent advocates, yes, but parents are the first teachers of their children,” said Jones. “We want to advocate for our children to have the best education possible, but we also teach our kids. A group of us banded together and started to have meetings. We invited our administrators. We invited our teachers. We invited our legislators to come and answer questions for us. That was our goal: to find out information and what we could do to make our schools better.”

The meeting was attended by about 30 to 40 people, including parents and community members, State Rep. Mike Brown and former State Sen. Jim Wilson, and school superintendents and teachers from Briggs, Grand View, Hulbert, Keys, Lowrey, Norwood, Peggs, Sequoyah, Shady Grove, Tahlequah, Tenkiller and Woodall.

Jones was thrilled with the turnout.

“This is just amazing. What a great start,” she said. “And you have your legislators here, and you have some fabulous legislators. I’ve not met [Brown or Wilson] personally, but I’ve heard wonderful things about [them]. We read and follow what you say and do for education, and [Cherokee County has] two huge winners in [its] corner right here. Be very, very thankful. The reason you want parents, rather than your administrators, talking to these folks, is because they hear from administrators on a very regular basis.”

The local PLAC chapter would establish monthly meetings to develop questions, which may later be lobbied at the state capitol. PLAC identifies funding issues and other education-related concerns that impact the local school district and approaches the state legislators with informed and research-based questions and requests, she said.

“The end-of-instruction exams are a great example. Your ACE legislation passed that in 2005, and it wasn’t an easy pass, it wasn’t a hard pass, but it passed through,” said Jones.

“When it came time to be implemented, they realized it wasn’t going to be good. We were going to have a lot of students fail. That ACE legislation was based off some reforms in Florida they thought would do a great job, but in Florida, they funded it 100 percent. In Oklahoma, they funded it 40 percent. PLAC wants to make that one of their goals this year: Fund the reforms or get rid of them.”

The legislative goals PLAC will be working toward this year include school funding issues, testing and school district accountability standards.

Tahlequah Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Presley said the meeting was seeded from information and discussions shared with Northeastern State University math instructor and TPS Board of Education Vice President Luke Foster, who is a legislative liaison for the TPS board.

“He brought the [PLAC] information back to us and that started the conversation,” she said. “We’ve been talking about being more active. I honestly believe [TPS and the parents] have a common interest, and I’ve seen how impacting a parent group can be at the state capitol.”

Presley said area school superintendents are working together to get the PLAC ball rolling, and Tenkiller Public Schools Superintendent Randy Rountree is heading up the group.

Rountree said establishing a PLAC group at each school is a way for parents to not only get more involved with their child’s learning experience, but to gain more insight on how the school gains funding and how laws come about that affect the learning process and/or environment.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Infant mortality dropping in county

    When a mom-to-be is expecting a healthy, happy baby, every week of pregnancy is crucial.
    Short gestation, or premature births, is a leading cause of infant mortality. Any child born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature.

    July 23, 2014

  • Board considers combining tourism, chamber positions

    Members of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the local Tourism Council are discussing the possibility of combining two jobs into one.
    Chamber President Steve Turner encouraged board members Tuesday morning to be prepared next month to decide how it will begin a search for a new executive director.

    July 23, 2014

  • New chamber board members nominated

    Three new board members will likely be installed during the regular August meeting of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce.

    July 23, 2014

  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Stocks