What does it take to build quality public schools?
We believe it starts with an active parent voice. Long after superintendents come and go, long after educational fads trend and ebb, parents remain a constant and vigilant presence and voice for quality public schools. We believe that building quality public schools in our city is not a mystery. We know what works. We know that financial investments matter. We know that research and reflection yield better practice. We know that an engaged community can sustain change.
But we also know that Philadelphia has become an expensive experimental testing ground for a host of trends and fads driven more by political ideology than research and investment. EMOs, privatized disciplinary schools, and high stakes testing are just a few of the fads that litter the story of reform. Superintendents blast their way through our system with the high salaries, blazing egos, and short tenures of a sports free agent rather than a quality school educator.  They want headlines and dramatic change, rather than sustainable change despite the fact that experience has shown us that the only thing dramatic change gives us is drama.
That's why Parents United came into being - to provide a parent voice around school and district budgeting and to ensure that financial priorities reflected our educational and moral priorities for our children. Toward that end, Parents United's goals are to:
  • Establish a baseline guarantee for quality and equitable schools: Ensure that every school is a quality school with adequate funding and services (including quality teachers and supports, art/music/science curricula, healthy fresh food, safe and adequate facilities, and free transportation).
  • Reduce class size and support small school efforts.
  • Empower parents in the budget process to set and monitor District initiatives.
  • Improve accountability and ensure oversight of private contractors.
  • Enforce an ethical and transparent decision-making process.
  • Create a parent-led grassroots lobby for improved state and local school funding.