NYCpublic.org offers parents online and offline opportunities to build their expertise on education issues and create positive change in schools. We are driven by research that says: “Increasingly, a consensus is emerging that what is needed to improve schools is an active citizenry, invested in solving educational problems through public deliberation.” (National Education Policy Center, 2012 http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/democracy-left-behind) Our methods for delivering on our mission are twofold.
1. A unique highly interactive web platform that will offer parents opportunities to read about issues that matter to them, to blog themselves, to post their pre-planned actions or to start or join working groups that generate a concrete action or product
2. Working with groups of parents, school communities (or segments thereof), or Community Education Councils (CECs) to move through a process of deliberative democracy – researching an issue or issues together, brainstorming workable solutions, and creating some sort of plan for the future
The goals of these enterprises are to:
• empower and connect parents so that they can be effective actors in the shaping of education policy
• change the “us vs. them” dynamic that pervades the city’s edupolitics • help policy makers realize that the strength of their policies depends on the inclusion of parents’ hard-earned expertise
•foster relationships between school staff and families that make the whole school stronger