Okay, so I'm not a parent—yet. But every day I read so many inspiring stories of parents from around the country demanding better schools for their children. And unlike policy wonks, they're not thinking about whether it's a traditional public school, charter school, magnet or private school. All they want to know is: Will this school provide the high-quality education my child needs and deserves? And they'll do pretty much anything to make sure not only their child but all children are given the opportunity to succeed. Here are just some of the stories from 2016 that highlight parents' struggles towards achieving high-quality education for their kids.
1. 5 Questions Every Black Parent Needs to Ask Their Child’s Teacher and School As an educator, Charles Cole knows that advocating for your kid can be tough especially in a culture of distrust. So, here's five questions he thinks every parent should be asking to ensure their kids succeed.
2. Don’t Believe the Hype: Standardized Tests Are Good for Children, Families and Schools Mom and Minnesota program director for Students for Education Reform (SFER), Latasha Gandy, had to crush the hype of opt-out earlier this year and let other parents know that standardized testing can be good for everyone—when done right. She tells us what we learn from testing (things like the achievement gap) and what questions parents should be asking their schools about how they use testing.
3. How a Charter School Saved Us From a Nightmare With Our Son A month before kindergarten, Krystal and Kevin's son was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy that had him in and out of the classroom for months. Find out how his school accommodated his special needs and made sure he stayed on grade-level.
4. I Walked My Daughter to School and Here’s What I Learned Along the Way So first of all this is the cutest thing ever. Dad Dexter Williams joined hundreds of fathers and male mentors at his daughter’s school, KIPP THRIVE Academy in Newark, New Jersey, for their annual “Dads Walk Your Child to School Day.” Check out what he learned that day.
5. Parents Need to Demonstrate How Much They Value Education Dad Mike Barnard admits that there are definitely obstacles when it comes to education—home and family dynamics differ for every student. But parents should still try their best to take steps to help children succeed and encourage them no matter what the circumstance.
6. Latino Parents Are Fighting to Keep This Charter School Open But Their Voices Aren’t Being Heard These parents are tired of organizations coming into their neighborhoods and telling them what's in their best interest—and the folks claiming to speak for them aren't even from there! In the fight to keep their New Jersey Red Bank Charter School open this Latina mom says: “This group has no right to speak for me or any of the other Latino parents at the charter school, or the many Latino parents who are on the waiting list to attend the charter school.”
7.I Just Couldn’t Trust a Diverse Suburb With My Black Daughter’s Education Chicago mom ShaRhonda Knott Dawson talks about her hunt to find a good school for her daughter like every parent. On the road she finds out that "good schools and diversity" doesn't always mean what you think it means. Sometimes "it means achievement for the White kids, but not for everybody else." And that just wasn't good enough for her. Read her story on finding a "good school" for her daughter.
8. How to Know When It’s Time to Find a New Teacher for Your Mijo/a Parent Leticia Chavez-Garcia asks, "What would you do if your child came home from school and said to you, 'I hate school' or 'I hate my teacher' or 'My teacher hates me' or even things like, 'I don’t want to go back to school ever again'? She highlights why you can't dismiss your child and steps you can take to talk to your school administrators.
9. I’ll Be a ‘Pushy Mom’ Too, If It Means More Kids Make It to College Who likes a pushy mom, right? These "Pushy Moms" in New York City are changing that. They're using their firsthand experience in navigating the college admissions process with their own children in order to help students at LaGuardia Community College transfer to four-year colleges. After reading the post, I agree with author Erika Sanzi, "Now I love them and want to be one someday."