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Published: Friday, 8/15/2003

Forum to push cooperation in education

As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the Coalition for Quality Education is hosting a free workshop Saturday for parents, students, and educators to help them advocate for better education by working together.

“We don't know of a better way to continue to celebrate than to have parents and school people working together to improve the education of the kids,” said Lola Glover, the coalition's executive director.

The workshop, “To Leave No Child Behind: Rules and Tools,” begins at 8:45 a.m. and lasts until 2:30 p.m. It will be held at the Crystal Ellis Center at the former DeVilbiss High School, 3301 Upton Ave.

Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Eugene Sanders will give the introduction and Eileen Cooper Reed, director of the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio, is the keynote speaker.

Reservations were requested, and about 170 people are expected, but Mrs. Glover said drop-ins will be welcomed.

“We encourage parents to come and students and anybody else, for that matter, who has an interest in what's happening in our schools. We surely would not turn them away,” she said.

The forum will provide information specific to parents and families about the impact of the new No Child Left Behind Act as it relates to student achievement, testing, discipline, and special education.

The federal legislation has mandates aimed at boosting accountability for school districts, ensuring provisions for students to transfer from under-performing schools, and adding tests.

Presenters at the forum also will teach collaboration, advocacy, and negotiation specific to school environments, and will have time for questions, discussion, and recommendations from attendees about how to improve partnerships with schools, Mrs. Glover said.

“I just find that our efforts to inform, promote, and engage parents in the educational and social development of their kids and the schools they attend are ongoing,” Mrs. Glover said.

Richard Jackson, Toledo Public Schools' executive director of school and community relations, said the forum is part of the coalition's overall and ongoing contributions to improving the district.

“It's very important as far as kicking things off at the beginning of the year and trying to engage parents,” he said. “[Mrs. Glover] really tried to put things in that she knows parents are really interested in hearing and knowing about.”

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