Although we had several wins in recent years, the battle for educational options and parental rights in education keeps getting tougher. Legislators listen to self-proclaimed reform experts like Marc Tucker who only reinforce their views that College and Career Readiness Standards (Common Core) are the great salvation for our struggling public education system and the US economy. Our opponents are banding together in organizations like Reaching Higher NH with the hopes of shutting parents and concerned citizens out of the dialog.
It is times like this that a reasonable person has to ask if the effort is worth it. So, is it? Are our children’s educations — and their futures — worth that extra time and effort? Absolutely! If we don’t do our best for our own children’s educations, who else will? If we don’t believe that our children’s futures are worth it, who else will make the effort? It is up to us — concerned citizens and parents — those of us who believe that our children have one shot at a K-12 education that will fit their needs and goals, to carve out that extra time whenever possible to make a difference for them. We believe in the future, their future. And it’s worth fighting for. If our opponents are stepping up their efforts, that means we’re doing something right. We are a force that cannot be ignored.
Like pebbles that can create ripples in the water, seemingly small efforts can make a big impact. It is the “force multiplier” effect that makes the difference. It happens when one caring parent reaches out to a couple friends, who in turn talk to more friends.
We know that parental involvement makes a difference in children’s educations. Grassroots involvement was also the game-changer in the 2015 legislative session. We know what we need to do to help our kids and schools succeed.
What can you do to make a difference?
Some of the efforts are quick and easy; some require more time and effort. Do what you can, when you can. It all adds up.
- Subscribe to our blog. Every article will go directly to your email so you don’t miss any updates.
- Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter so our information can more readily spread to other concerned parents and NH citizens.
- Share our articles with your friends via email and social media. This is easy way to reach out and make a difference.
- Vote for candidates that support school choice and parental rights’ to direct their children’s education. This sets us up for success in Concord and Washington, DC.
- Call and email your state Representatives and Senators on important bills. We cover NH education legislation very closely and analyze all the bills. We will give you the what, when, and where with talking points so you can make informed decisions and engage in meaningful dialogs.
- Call and email the House and Senate education committees. Their recommendations are very influential when they vote on the House or Senate floors. Legislation is usually won or lost in committee.
- Sign our petitions. We periodically sponsor email petitions for particular bills or issues. The petitions will send emails directly to the state officials that need to hear from us.
- Attend public hearings on important bills when possible. If you have something to add to the discussion, or a personal story to share, prepare testimony for the hearing. The committees also have sheets that publicly register your position on the bills even if you don’t wish to testify.
- Attend periodic rallies and press conferences. We only hold events for the most critical bills when a crowd can make an impact. Again, by subscribing to our blog and following us on Facebook and Twitter, you will always know what is planned.
- Refuse your child’s participation in the statewide assessments. The state DOE claims they want education to be “data and evidence driven” yet they ignore results when it doesn’t fit their narrative. If these tests are meaningless, why sacrifice learning time and judge our students, teachers, and schools on these invalid tests.
- Get involved at the local level. Share our articles with your local school board members so they can make informed decisions that strengthen local control and responsiveness to their community’s needs. Ask school boards to not be a rubber-stamp to their superintendents who by-and-large take marching orders from the state Department of Education.
- Write Letters to the Editor and opinion pieces particularly to the Union Leader, Concord Monitor, and Nashua Telegraph. These news outlets have significant readership and submissions help put public pressure on state officials.
- If you want additional information on any of the above efforts, or want to be part of the School Choice for NH team, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every child deserves the opportunity to have an education that fits his or her individual needs and goals. Education is not a one-size-fits-all process. When a child is in a program that “fits” them — everyone wins…the child, the family, and the community. We need involved parents and citizens to make the difference.
For more details on the legislative process, read How to Impact Legislation.