Behind the Headline: An Uncivil Civil War

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An Uncivil Civil War
U.S. News & World Report | 10/14/2015

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

An estimated 18,500 families, children, educators and charter school employees marched to the steps of city hall  in New York City earlier this month to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to give more children the opportunity to attend effective charter schools. Many of the families had children attending Success Academy charter schools.

Gerard Robinson writes:

Despite the parents’ diverse backgrounds, their message at the rally was clear: Threaten our children’s educational opportunities, and we will take this battle to the streets. Their children feel the same way. Many held signs that read “Don’t Steal Possible,” “Separate. Unequal. Still” or “Great Schools Now.” These signs bring attention to the reported 478,000 students stuck inside failing schools. For many families and children, educational opportunity is still not a tangible reality.

He explains:

While it is critical to remember that a rally is not a revolution, rallies like this have been the exception, not the norm, for education reform. Too often, education reformers have not actively engaged parents or have tried to enlist them for causes that do not speak to the everyday reality of their children’s schools. But charter schooling is a different kind of issue, Eva Moskowitz is not your average reformer and parents are responding in force this time. Turns out, once you help put kids into better schools, their parents will mobilize to defend them.


Bruno Manno has written about the growth of “parent power” groups in “Not Your Mother’s PTA,” in the Winter 2012 issue of Education Next.

Charles Sahm has an article about the Success Academy charter school network in the Summer 2015 issue of Education Next.

—Education Next

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