In March 2020, every parent in this country was thrust into the classroom, as schools across the country shutdown for the pandemic. Parents sat side-by-side with their little kids to keep them focused on Zoom lessons. Later, they would talk through the instructions on worksheets. Even parents of older kids were more involved; they kept their teens from isolating themselves in their bedrooms with their laptops and headphones. With Zoom lessons streaming on multiple devices in public spaces in the home, parents actually saw their children’s teachers in action for the first time and formed opinions.
Parental involvement went beyond homework and mental health. They also marched into school board meetings across the nation, loudly advocating for their positions on masks and curriculum. Their views were felt in the voting booth as the angry parent vote swung state elections, and may also play a critical role in the the midterm elections this November. Parents took the front stage in education politics like never before.
With the pandemic easing — my son went to school without a mask for the first time this week! Woot! — parents are not walking away from schools. Much to the annoyance of some education leaders, parents are demanding a seat at the decision-making table. In the past month, I’ve heard many parents say, “Now what? I want to keep going to school board meetings and demanding meaningful change, but I’m not sure what I should prioritize.”
Here’s where I come in.
Last week, I started a niche newsletter for special education parents, called The Great Leap. Next week, I will launch a new one called The Educated Parent — All the education research, advice, and context to help parents become better advocates for their children and all kids.
I’m arranging the apps and the chairs for a party for educated parents. The wine bottles are uncorked. Hope you join us.