What is a quality education?

Several of our members started writing this paper as part of a workshop they presented at PAA’s leadership conference last summer. This final paper is based on the workshop discussion and additional input from our members and others. Special thanks to Deb Mayer of Oregon Save our Schools, Danielle Arnold-Schwartz of PAA-Suburban Philadelphia, Lisa Fluke of PAA-Ventura County, and Julie Woestehoff, PAA Board secretary.

No set of bullet points can fully capture the complexities of a quality education. We have already linked some of the items below to more detailed PAA papers and blog posts, and we expect to add more links. But we feel that this new paper captures a common vision of the kind of schooling we want for our children. We hope it will be useful to parents and our member groups.

A downloadable pdf of this one-page position paper is here.

PARENTS ACROSS AMERICA Position Paper on Quality Education

Having listened to parents, students, and educators, and recognizing that educating our children is everyone’s responsibility, Parents Across America prepared the following definition of a quality education.

Quality education is child-centered. Quality schools:

  • nurture the whole child,
  • provide a safe, comfortable, happy environment with small class sizes,
  • discover and celebrate each child’s intellectual, creative, and social abilities,
  • develop every child’s passion for being a life-long learner,
  • encourage children’s curiosity and self-expression,
  • offer individualized, diversified, broad-based learning that meets the needs of all students,
  • develop a love of reading in students,
  • build self-esteem, honor differences, and respect the stages of child development by using high engagement, hands-on learning, and high-quality, appropriate assessments,
  • employ positive discipline policies and practices, and
  • use learning approaches that connect children to their community and the world.

Quality education requires skilled professionals.Quality schools:

Quality education promotes justice, equity, and democracy.Quality schools:

  • are fully accessible to all students,
  • embrace diversity and engage the cultural assets of all children and their families,
  • produce engaged, thoughtful, and adaptable local and world citizens,
  • are community governed, with a strong parent voice,
  • are community-centered, providing services and activities that benefit students and their families,
  • grow in response to the expertise, experiences and relationships of members of the school community, and
  • are supported by full, robust and equitable funding from the appropriate government sources.


Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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