By: Tillie Elvrum
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel at the 2016 State Policy Network alongside seasoned policy, teacher, and legal stakeholders. Our discussion focused on the 2016 Education Next Poll, but really dug into ways to bridge the divide between advocacy organizations and policy groups.
I mentioned how the education reform movement is ripe with opportunities for parent engagement, from which standards to create and assess to how schools should be held accountable for individual student learning. As complex as each of these issues are, there are very concrete ways to invite parents into education reform conversations.
- Invite the parents to the table and seek true parent voice and perspective.
- Include parents early in the reform process. They can tell you about the impact of policy ideas early on in the process, and should be involved at the ground level.
- Partner with parent-centered advocacy groups, and open lines of communication to share innovative ideas.
Parents know how to keep the education reform movement student-centered. After all, nobody knows our children better than we do. To all of those do-good education efforts out there: help parents across the country amplify their voices to create real change in our communities. Let’s achieve real innovation for our students with one unified voice!