The Problem: Lack of Parent Voice
In the current education system, charter families have no clear avenue to share their voices.
Although DC public charter schools educate close to 50% of public school students in the city, the voices of their families are absent in city policy. Charter school families are often unaware of the policies that are being created that significantly impact the schools that their children attend.
Education policy in DC includes some community and parent voices from the traditional public school system that have come together to bring new perspectives to elected officials and policymakers over the years – e.g. ward-based education councils and community action groups. However, charter school families have not been meaningfully engaged with education policymakers. Families are often disconnected inside of the city’s charter school networks and have virtually no contact between networks, leaving this critical constituency without a mechanism for advocating together on behalf of their children and the schools they attend.
There is a clear need for a coordinated effort to work across all charter networks (LEA’s) to identify, inform, and empower charter parents and families to be advocates for their children and their schools.