Are you ready to help make a change in your community? You can demand more from your schools and politicians. If you are committed to quality education as a civil right, you can begin to help all children realize the dream by taking one or more of the following action steps:
Find education advocates in your state: You can find local education advocacy organizations on the website for the Access Network, a national education reform organization.
Best Practices: Visit the Minority Student Achievement Network, a coalition of school districts dedicated to ensuring high academic standards for children of color.
Some of the people who know the most about your school district are local parents. Host a house party at your home, faith institution, or community center to discuss with parents what they like about the local public schools and what concerns or worries them. Your local school or superintendent's office should have the name and contact information for local parent leaders. Or find your local PTA on the PTA's national search engine.
To gain a better understanding of the successes and challenges faced by your local public schools, become a volunteer. To find out about volunteer opportunities in your community, contact your local school or superintendent's office; or visit Idealist.org, a national clearinghouse of information on local non-profits and related volunteer opportunities.
Coordinate a group of parents, students, faith leaders, and community activists for tours of schools in a cross-section of the community. Make sure you visit schools in affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods, as well as lower-income, high-minority neighborhoods.
To find out what education reform policies are being considered in your local community, attend a school board meeting. Most local boards hold regular meetings that are open to the public.
To find out more information, contact the school board or the local superintendent's office listed in the government pages of your phone book, check the school district's website, or go to the National School Board Association website to find state associations of school boards.
Through local schools, faith institutions, and other community organizations, invite students from a diverse group of local schools to talk about their experiences, impressions, and ideas on education reform. In some communities, local school boards have a student delegate or student liaison. Encourage students to write letters to the editor addressing what they like and dislike about their schools.
Order copies of the Multimedia CD and make copies for your friends, school leaders, and local politicians to show them the type of programs you want in your community. In addition, you can check this website regularly for education news and new opportunities for involvement in the education reform debate.