Parent Voices and the Blueprint – new article in District Administrator

A compelling new article in the monthly District Administrator details the concerns parents have about the Obama administration’s Blueprint for Reform, and quotes co-founder of Parents Across America, Julie Woestehoff:

“Parents are the primary stakeholders in education,” says Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE ), which advocates for parents in Chicago Public Schools. “Parents are mostly concerned not with when the PTA meeting is, but what strategies are being used in the school to improve performance, and whether the school is getting the support it needs.”

As written, the Blueprint, which will be considered when Congress takes up reauthorization legislation, doesn’t reflect that reality, Woestehoff says. “There are so many objections to the strategies in the Blueprint that directly impact our children’s opportunities,” she says. “It just seems like nobody up there is listening.”

Leonie Haimson, head of Class Size Matters and another co-founder of Parents Across America, is quoted as pointing out how the US Department of Education is shutting out parent voices by ignoring their views when it comes to the direction of school reform:

Parents absolutely should have a voice as the Obama administration considers nationalizing policies that have led to shutting down neighborhood schools or turning them into charter schools, says Haimson,…. She says that the administration has taken the turnaround strategies practiced in Chicago and New York and is imposing them more vigorously on the rest of the country, creating a need for parent and community counterweight.

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