Ed Week Reports On How School Reformers Are Using Parents As “Foot Soldiers”

Newer Advocacy Groups Find Foot Soldiers in Parents is a very interested new Education Week article highlighting how “school reform” groups are trying to involve parents in their efforts.

Though substantial portions of the article make clear that some of these groups are amazingly clueless about organizing and paternalistic in their view of parents, at least a few of them seem to at least know the basics.

And that should be worrisome to us teachers.

A big problem, as I’ve previously written about, is that there isn’t much funding available for what I consider genuine parent engagement.

Here’s an excerpt from the Ed Week article that makes a similar point:

“I feel like what’s emerged [with these new groups] is a strategic response on the part of certain organizations that are extremely well funded by outside organizations, which is something different from traditional education organizations,” said John S. Rogers, an associate professor in the graduate school of education and information studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been studying grassroots community organizing in education for decades.

These new groups tend to share an opposition to teachers’ unions, said Mr. Rogers, and a general ideological uniformity that favors free-market changes and school choice that set them apart from other political and civic efforts from parent-focused education groups.

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