[NHDOE-ETNews] ET News: Review of Parent Power: Grass-Roots Activism and K-12 Education Reform Finds the Study Flawed

Freeda, Stanley Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
Thu Sep 6 08:14:14 EDT 2012


Today on the ETNews Listserv

ITEM:  Review of Parent Power: Grass-Roots Activism and K-12 Education
Reform Finds the Study Flawed

The authors of this American Enterprise Institute report interviewed 28
leaders and practitioners of four national educational reform
organizations to catalogue opportunities for and barriers to "parent
power." The report unevenly reflects the competing conceptions of
"parent power" underlying the national debate on education reform. One
conception, embraced uncritically by the authors and the new wave of
well-funded national advocacy organizations, sees parents primarily as
"consumers" of educational services who seek better choices in a more
privatized education marketplace. An alternative, dismissed and
overlooked by the authors but embraced by a long tradition of community
organizers and public education advocates, views parents as the citizen
owners-managers of a public education system that is a central
institution of democratic civic life. These competing visions arise from
sharply different histories and politics and give rise to dramatically
different prescriptions for reform. The report suffers from an
inadequate and slanted literature review; highly selective sampling; a
serious lack of objectivity; disturbing characterizations of urban
parents as "ignorant," under-engaged and resistant to change; and a
failure to contend with empirical evidence that challenges their views
on "what parents want." Its failure to adequately examine and document
the full range of "grass-roots activism," organizing, and history
reflects both its blinders and its narrow political objective: to
provide a briefing paper for the side it has chosen in what it calls
"the fight."


Read the entire report at: 


Read Parent Power: Grass-Roots Activism and K-12 Education Reform at: 


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Stan Freeda

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