Interview with Dolores Torres

—and the new ways that you related to the principals that came in, once, during the experiment.


All right, as I said the whole thing was the local school board always in touch with the parents in the neighborhood, with the teachers. Each parent that was on the school board represented that school, so that parent was there. Every day. We as community representatives had to visit all 8 schools to get the feedback, that the PTA pres--presidents were giving to the local schools' representatives. And also attending all of the PTA meetings at night. And we found that a lot of the teachers that we had hired, a lot that were there before, were never asked, "Would you come to a PTA meeting? Would you like to the house for coffee?" were never told, "If my child is giving you a problem would you mind calling me, but I don't get home from work until the evening, could you call me in the evening, or if possible could you come out?" We found out principals that were willing to do this, teachers that were there the whole time, that were willing to do this, and a lot of young new teachers that came were willing to do this, and they did. We had meetings in our homes we met teachers and principals in their homes, we went out to dinner with them. And it was, it was like a family, we didn't always agree, we didn't always agree on a lot of things, but we had to find mutual ground where we could say, "OK, I might not agree on that way that you're trying to teach my child, but, if it works, you know after you've tried it, we would like to implement that. If it doesn't work, would you be willing to do away with it, and try another avenue?" And these, these teachers and the principals worked.