Putting the Punch in Parent Power

In this education outlook, the American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Hess and Daniel Lautzenheiser note parents are becoming a growing influence in education policy debates, a shift from more recent practice where parents largely have played supporting, rather than directing, roles. This growing influence, they say, is a welcome counterbalance to long-entrenched, dominant interest groups such as teachers unions. At the same time, parents have many responsibilities and have difficulty sustaining political effort. Advocacy organizations seeking to amplify parents’ voices need to “grow significantly and move from intermittent activism to a more cohesive voting bloc that can elect reform-minded candidates,” the authors write, in order for “parent activism” to effect more than hype.

Frederick M. Hess and Daniel K. Lautzenheiser, “Putting the Punch in Parent Power,” American Enterprise Institute, August 2012: http://www.aei.org/files/2012/08/28/-putting-the-punch-in-parent-power_155845671479.pdf.