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Take 5 Minutes and Take Back Your Schools

For 20 years, parents and teachers have fought hard to make their schools great. They have fixed programs, created new schools, and passed laws; all to provide better learning opportunities for children.  Armed with nothing more than knowledge and drive, parents have fought the status quo; and won.

Now, their stories are being told through the new Won’t Back Down, a film which is based on dozens of real life heroes and heroines who realized they could not wait to make education better for their children.

While many are inspired by their efforts, you don’t need a Hollywood movie to take back your schools.

Take 5 minutes now to learn 5 things that you can do to make a lasting difference in your community.

1.  Get your school’s ranking! Does it have an A on the door, or an F? How can you find out?

  • Ask your principal. If he/she doesn’t know…
  • Access your state’s report card
  • To compare your district to other districts, states or even countries, check out the Global Report Card.
  • Review the test scores yourself. Search GreatSchools.org

2.  Get your state’s Parent Power ranking.

  • Ask yourself, if your school is not working for you do you have options outside of that school that are publicly available?
  • Can parents and teachers take over and hire new management?
  • Are charter schools an option?
  • How many choices do you have? What kind?
    (note: NONE is not an acceptable answer.)
    Start taking action now!

Your child deserves a great education, make sure he or she gets it!

 3.  “Do you want to start a school with me?” (Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays Jamie Fitzpatrick in Won’t Back Down)

You don’t need a PhD or a teaching degree to start a school. Parents and teachers are resourceful people. You can plan your own school; thousands have successfully done it throughout the US with public charter schools. It takes a village, and you’ll need to involve great educators, financiers and other qualified, capable people but it’s done every day and there is an abundance of help now available to get you through the process in your community or state.  Remember, you can do it now. Click here to get your free guide to starting a school.

4.  Get engaged in your child’s education. This resource will get you started.

You might be a Mighty Mom like the ones in Won’t Back Down but starting a new movement to change laws or starting a school is not in the cards for you right now. Not to worry. You can effect some change by getting informed, asking the right questions and staying on top of the environment that dictates how and what your child learns.

5.  Vote for Education Reform, not just education and yes, there is a difference.

You won’t find one candidate for office — anywhere — that is against education. The question is: what do they want to do about education? It used to be that simply saying you’d “invest more” or  that “lower class size” was enough to win an election. Parents are savvier than that these days. Money and class sizes are irrelevant when educators are not highly qualified, when schools are failing regardless, or when you just don’t have the right fit for your child.

  • Ask yourself — Where does your Governor stand on the most important issues facing parents today?
  • How about your legislators? Are their position papers full of words about investment, collaboration and treating teachers professionally? Those are all good things but they have nothing to do with parents having real power.  Do they believe you should have real power to determine where your child attends school, be it public, private, charter public or online?

Learn where your candidates for office stand on the issues that will make the most difference in your child’s education with this Voter’s Guide.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, call and ask:

Do they believe in your right to be your child’s first teacher?
Do they believe in giving you power?