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Volume 13, Number 5
September/October 1997

A School Called Victory

The Ongoing Pursuit of Parent Involvement

 

When Estell Sprewer first became principal of Milwaukee's Victory Elementary School six years ago, the parent-involvement story was the same depressing one that a lot of urban educators tell.

More than half of the school's parents never attended conferences with their children's teachers. Among those who did, African Americans were underrepresented: They comprised 49 percent of the student body during the fall of the 1992-93 school year, for example, but took part in only 17 percent of the conferences that did occur.

When Sprewer asked for parents to serve on a school-based management council, the same old faces from the closely knit, disproportionately white and middle- class PTA stepped forward. "We were not hearing the voices of a large part of our population," she says. "We needed to broaden that scope."

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.

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Victory Elementary School, 222 W. Henry Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53221.