National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Organizing for Educational Justice: Parents, Students and Labor Join Forces to Reclaim Public Education
The future of public education stands at a critical crossroads. For over 20 years, communities of color have been the targets of a wave of market-driven education reform, rooted in corporate principles of competition, choice and consequences. Billionaires, philanthropists, policy advocates and local, state and federal elected officials have all supported this approach, funding teacher evaluations, Common Core development and implementation, charter schools and other such reforms. Importantly, they have not been responsive to what community leaders, parents and youth identify as needs for their schools, instead relying on what the market identifies. These efforts garner billions of dollars in funding from proponents whose interest in reform is economical and not personal, and whose communities are not directly impacted by the policies they espouse.
Within the past year, a new alliance of parents, students and labor has emerged to promote a proactive vision for public education based on equity and evidenced-based educational practices. The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) unites constituencies that have traditionally been at odds and articulates clear solutions to the challenges facing neighborhood schools. In this piece, AROS invites the philanthropic community to consider a new model of education reform....