Atlanta parent leaders want President- Elect Biden to know that it’s time out for putting in people to the Secretary of Education position who do knowing but protect the status quo.
If America is a super power, our public education system should be also. But it’s not. In fact, several of the country’s that current President Donald Trump would say are “lesser than” us actually have better education systems.
Following President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s election victory, rumors have swirled that the new administration may select a candidate for Education Secretary from one of the major national teachers’ unions.
Yet, with systemic, generational crises in schools nationwide, longstanding achievement gaps continuing unabated, and with parents desperately seeking great school options for their children, families nationwide from struggling communities are clamoring for change.
Today, Atlanta Thrive, a member of the Powerful Parent Movement, a national coalition of thousands of parents in struggling communities nationwide, joined the group to launch a new campaign urging the Biden administration to select a candidate for Secretary of Education who isn’t rooted in the status quo and who recognizes the need for school choice in communities that need it most.
The new #HaveOurBacks campaign emphasizes that Black and Brown families like those in the Powerful Parent Movement comprised his political base and helped propel Joe Biden to victory.
Now, families are calling on the transition team to ensure that the new Secretary of Education prioritizes parent choice and high-quality school options for children across the country.
The campaign launched with the release of two new videos that send a message to President-elect Joe Biden with parent leaders calling on him to ensure that the new education secretary includes Black and Brown families from struggling communities in the decision-making process on future education policies.
Kimberly Dukes, Atlanta Thrive Executive Director, says, “In Georgia, it was our communities, families who connect with our struggles who helped deliver the election in 2020.”
So to Joe Biden the incoming President, our message is simple: #YouAreWelcome. We had your back, and now, you need to have ours.
Across the nation, we cannot perpetuate racism in our schools. There is no reason Black and Brown students should have to be stuck in failing schools for decades. We have to empower families and parents with choice, to send their children to schools that are right for them.
“After helping deliver Georgia for the Biden campaign, we are counting on the President-elect to stand with and listen to parents.”
Earlier this year, the Powerful Parent Movement gained nationwide attention for their efforts during the presidential primaries when they met with several Democratic candidates during the debate in South Carolina to demand that each candidate commits to supporting school choice for families.
In the months since, parent leaders from Atlanta Thrive have urged education leaders and elected officials at all levels of government to address the learning loss crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As school districts across Georgia continue to struggle with reopening and remote learning, the parent leaders demand that the new administration prioritizes the need to develop an urgent plan for academic recovery and policies that put children and their families first.
Atlanta Thrive: Atlanta Thrive is a parent-driven organization that empowers families to disrupt inequities in the education system. We offer training and development to parents and grandparents who are passionate about all children receiving an excellent education.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.