NBC “Education Nation” Unveils “Parent Toolkit” — Time To Be Skeptical

NBC’s Education Nation was — except for some rare instances (a segment on the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project was one) — was a fiasco this year, with proponents of “school reform” often given the spotlight to chatter on unchallenged.

Unfortunately, they also decided to provide the world a “Parent Toolkit” filled with “academic growth charts” (including Pre-K). It looks slick, but I’m not predicting many parents are going to find it particularly useful. If you dig deep enough, they might find something helpful in the “additional resources” section.

I’m probably being unfair — it’s really not worse than other resources put out by different groups. It just seems like Education Nation has become a poisoned brand for so many educators, and I can’t put much confidence in anything they do…

Let me know if you think I’m being unfair.

3 thoughts on “NBC “Education Nation” Unveils “Parent Toolkit” — Time To Be Skeptical

  1. A nice read:) With that said, as a parent of color, I think you are judging the Education Nation Parent toolkit unfairly, I think you are acting like many so-called “parent police” ed decision makers or as I call them “wanna be saviors” to the majority black and brown community that comprise the achievement, opportunity and skill gap.

    So far the parents that I have sent it for review see this toolkit as a vibrant super user friendly tool. I even sent it to a few grandmothers who navigate this tool better then Microsoft word;) Is there room for improvement; absolutely but this applies to ANY new program its called “trial and error”.

    I would ask people to take away POLITICS for a moment and see if its a good toolkit. If it works for parents and children use it, if not don’t, but you are not “parent police” and its wrong to filter positive student centered information FOR parents & students because you don’t like it! With all due respect, you do not live in our homes therefore you should not be imposing your views or value systems on us. Its okay to recommend but not impose. Parents are treated so bad by the status quo that ANY POSITIVE support a parent can use to help children succeed we should support it – Let parents make their own final decisions after all its their children and compulsory & zip code education laws FORCE us to send our kids to so many failing and unsafe schools. Therefore any help we can give our kids to succeed in school and life we will take it until school choice is available to ALL students.

  2. Gwen,

    Sorry you feel like I’m “imposing value systems” on parents. I share my opinions here on the resources I see and people are free to agree, disagree, or ignore them completely. I think there are many other resources out there that I have written about that provide support and that don’t carry the baggage that NBC Education Nation brings along with it. I’d feel differently if it was the only game in town, but it isn’t. Given a choice between quality resources generated by parents for parents, or resources generated by a for-profit organization with a blatantly political and “pro-reform” agenda, I’ll take the former anytime….


  3. Students are not test scores. If we want to close the “achievement” gap, we must close the opportunity gap. Every child needs to have a well rounded, engaging curriculum filled with art, music, small class sizes, dance, sports/PE, full time librarian, counselor and nurse, wrap around services in schools serving high poverty neighborhoods. We need to more invest in high quality teaching and learning and dismantle the high stakes testing monstrosity.

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