If there aren’t any grassroots public-education advocacy groups in your area, gather some friends and start your own pro-public education group to focus on supporting students, teachers, and education professionals in your public schools.
Here are five easy steps to get you started:
1. Find fellow organizers. Speak to your friends and family, professional colleagues, community leaders, and others who might be interested in joining you to help organize public education advocacy efforts.
2. Meet to decide on your group’s focus. What will your team advocate? Is it the overuse of standardized tests? Time spent on test preparation and test-taking? The lack of charter school accountability? Charter school funding that drains public school district resources? The corporatization of public education? All of the above?
3. Become informed. Research and find out everything you can about your group’s focus. Check social media to see what other organizations are writing about the topic, and attend activities they present in their areas of the state. Create a Facebook page for your group, and start connecting with other like-minded groups to learn more and share what you already know.
4. Decide what you can do. Will your group members want to attend school board meetings? Speak to elected officials? Write letters to the editor of the local newspaper? Attend pro-public education meetings and rallies? Host public education documentary screenings and panel discussions in your community? Connect through social media, or have face-to-face conversations with members of your community? If you’re not sure, start small and see what works.
5. After you’ve figured it out, get involved and jump right in. Stay positive. Stay strong. Support public education!