« How Are Kids Doing? It's a Mixed Bag, and the Education Results are "Meh" | Main | No, Pre-K Isn't a Waste Just Because Your Mom Can Read »

Parent-Lobby Skepticism

Andrew Cohen's National Journal piece calling for a "Parent Lobby" to combat gun violence has been bouncing around the internets for the past few days. Call me skeptical. It's not that I discount the potential political force of the nation's more than 50 million parents, but that I really doubt this group agrees on any sort of common agenda.

To be clear: Virtually all parents love their children and want them to be safe, healthy, happy, and prepared to lead productive adult lives (and the fact that it's somehow acceptable to question this in ed reform policy debates fills me with ire). But parents have an incredible variety of radically different ideas about how best to accomplish this, as well as the respective roles of children, parents, schools, communities, religious and civil society institutions, and others in doing so. A brief glance at my friends' (most of them parents of young children) Facebook profiles over the past few days illustrated a tremendous variety of views on the relationship between guns and children's safety and the best policy approach for preventing future tragedies. And that's just among the relatively homogenous group of people I happen to know!

This is equally true in education, by the way, and it's a factor our education policy conversation should pay more attention to. The wide variation in what parents want for their children is one reason I think our system must ultimately move to a greater variety of options and provision/delivery models for public schooling--albeit one bounded by a set of common standards for accountability and recognition that publicly funded schools must serve communal, as well as individual and parental, goals. But I also recognize that a lot of parents just want a school in their neighborhood that works for kids.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

The opinions expressed in Sara Mead's Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.
Advertisement

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Tags

AFT
Alex Grodd
Ana Menezes
Andrew Kelly
appropriations
ARRA
Aspire Public Schools
authorizing
Better Lesson
Bill Ferguson
certification
charter schools
child care
children's literature
choice
civil rights
CLASS
Core Knowledge
curriculum
D.C.
democracy
early childhood
Early Learning Challenge Grant
economics
elections
English language learners
entrepreneurship
equity
Evan Stone
fathers
finance
fix poverty first
Hailly Korman
harlem children's zone
HEA
Head Start
head start
health care
Higher Education
home-based child care
homeschooling
housing
How we think and talk about pre-k evidence
i3
IDEA
income inequality
instruction
international
Jason Chaffetz
Jen Medbery
just for fun
Justin Cohen
Kaya Henderson
Kenya
kindergarten
KIPP
Kirabo Jackson
Kwame Brown
land use
LearnBoost
libertarians
LIFO
literacy
Los Angeles
Louise Stoney
Mark Zuckerberg
Maryland
Massachusetts
Memphis
Michelle Rhee
Michigan
Mickey Muldoon
Neerav Kingsland
New Jersey
New Orleans
NewtownReaction
Next Gen Leaders
Next Gen leaders
nonsense
NSVF Summit
NYT
organizing
parent engagement
parenting
parking
pell grants
politics
poverty
PreK-3rd
presidents
principals
productivity
QRIS
Race to the Top
Rafael Corrales
redshirting
regulation
religion
rick hess
Roxanna Elden
RTT
san francisco
school choice
social services
SOTU
special education
Stephanie Wilson
stimulus
story
Sydney Morris
tax credits
Teacher Prep
teachers
technology
Title I
unions
urban issues
Vincent Gray
vouchers
Waiting for Superman
Washington
West Virginia
zoning