Behind the Headline: Secretary Duncan to Keynote National PTA Convention

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Secretary Duncan to Keynote National PTA Convention
6/19/14 |

Behind the Headline
Not Your Mother’s PTA
Winter 2012 | Education Next

The PTA’s national convention is taking place in Austin this year, and on Friday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the keynote address.

In an article for Education Next, Bruno Manno writes that, while in the past, the PTA worked on many causes of its own, today it most often acts as an echo of the teacher unions. He continues

few in today’s K–12 education reform movement look to the PTA to fight for dramatic change or engage in direct conflict with the public education establishment. Education historian William Cutler explains in Parents and Schools that “educators and most school board members prefer to think of the parent-teacher association as an extension of the educational establishment, ‘an auxiliary to the public school,’ as the Los Angeles County Board of Education put it in 1908.”

However, there are several newer groups for parents that are more actively engaged in K–12 reform efforts and that, as Manno puts it, “advance the interests of K–12 education consumers—especially parents—rather than education producers.”

Manno’s article, “Not Your Mother’s PTA,” describes the work of three organizations that use parent mobilization and advocacy to catalyze reform: Parent Revolution, Education Reform Now, and Stand for Children.

-Education Next

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