Sunday, March 11, 2012
Getting Parent Voices Heard in Education Debate
The problem is lately, parents are missing this point. Parents are actively fighting school reform and as a result, their voices are not being heard. In Florida this week, exciting new legislation allowing a parent trigger to give parents more say in closing low performing schools for charters, was defeated in the Florida Senate by a coalition of parent groups. In New York and Chicago parents have been actively fighting against turning around unsuccessful schools, and in Chicago parents are leading a ferocious charge against the longer school day.
By fighting the reformist agenda, parents find themselves without a voice. The illusion of inclusion is vital to making the changes that parents should want. Groups like Stand for Children, Students First, and Last Stand for Children First are well funded organizations full of media savvy, but without parent buy in, there is only so much we can do. Politicians who support are agenda have gotten so desperate that they've taken to paying protesters. Surely, working together we can do more and appear more authentic.
You can make your voice heard by doing the following:
1. Join an organization like Last Stand for Children First, Students First, or Stand for Children.
2. Attend regular meetings where you can be told what your interests and opinions should be.
3. Avoid causing dissension by debating policy or veering from the company line.
4. Remember that we care about students and if you do too, this is the best way to get your voice heard.