By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Often when teachers berate kids for acting out, the kids shrug with a “so what” expression. Robert Kravitz, a new Jersey educator, took an extreme approach. When one of his students was being disruptive, he pulled out is cell phone in class so everyone could hear him calling the father.

Engaging parents of K-12 kids has been an ongoing dilemma; however, an article in The Washington Post describes a successful program in Washington DC, operating in more than 20 schools at all levels.

Teachers are taught to visit families, what to do and what not to do: no surprise visits, go in pairs, no note-taking, visit not just parents of struggling students, listen more than talk. Teachers are paid $34 per visit.

The Family Engagement Partnership has no conclusive data but the proficiency rates on the DC Comprehensive Assessments showed an increase of 7.4% in reading and 15.2% in math from 2011 to 2013. A model to replicate!

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