First of the Parent EduChats
October 18, 2011 § Leave a Comment
My experience at 4.0 Schools has influenced the scope of my current work. I started the 4.0 experience set on opening an open enrollment school designed for socio-economic diversity. My perspective on that narrow goal has changed some. I am attempting to broaden my work to address the disengagement of the urban middle class in public education. My hunch is that the best way to reengage them is through establishing a new school, but I need to listen and emphasize first. See my newest page “50 words on what I’m up to” for only slightly more information.
For now, the focus is on the New Orleans middle class, and specifically middle class parents of two and three year olds. If there any members of the middle class who should be particularly interested in the immediate future of public education in New Orleans, it should be those folks. With that in mind, my ‘door to door’ approach suddenly became too unfocused to yield the information I wanted. For the time being, I have decided to change course slightly and meet with small focus groups of middle class parents around the city. I am holding the first of these focus groups tonight.
I plan to target many of the popular pre-schools without an attached upper school. For now, I think it is important and helpful to work with the pre-schools and have them help me get the word out to their parents. Pre-schools without upper-schools to feed into have nothing to loose by helping me out.
Tonight my host family has invited the parents in the 2 & 3 year old classes from CDP (Child Development Program). We will get together for a little over an hour. I will introduce myself to them, share my background and what I’m currently up to at 4.0, and ask to listen to their concerns, thoughts and visions for great schools. For many of them, my guess is that it’ll be the first time they are able to talk about the public education landscape in NOLA in an organized forum.
I think it is the right next step in this process. I’ll report out on what I learn later in the week.