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Public Schools Must Ensure Equity for All

All students in this country deserve not only a quality education, but they also deserve the right to be who they are without discrimination or harassment while pursuing that education. The notion of equity not only applies to a student’s racial identity and socio-economic status but also to a student’s gender identity as well. Many of our nation’s LGBTQ+ students face discrimination and harassment while at school and are often tormented online by their peers when at home. For these students, school can be a very desolate place, and we must make every effort to create a truly equitable and...
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Ways to Take Action During and After COVID

COVID-19 has drastically impacted the lives of our nation’s school-aged children. According to many national surveys, “shifting to remote learning last spring was academically and socially challenging for students, and…families and caregivers felt stretched thin by supporting their students at home” (TNTP, Inc., 2020). Ultimately, every parent is highly concerned about where their child will be academically when the pandemic is over. Now more than ever, parent advocacy is essential in ensuring that the impact of COVID on student learning and achievement is not as detrimental as the research suggests it will be. Parents, you should voice your concerns about...
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To Test or Not to Test? That is the question!

In a year ravaged by COVID-19 and its aftermath, there is a big question that parents want answered: Are my children required to take this year’s standardized tests? A recent national poll shared by the National PTA determined the following as it relates to parents’ views on state tests this spring:  These major findings reveal:  52% of parents favor end-of-year testing this spring to measure the impact of the pandemic on student learning.  60% of parents are worried their child is behind and want more information on where their child is academically.  62% of parents believe their child to be behind...
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Educating Communities, Stimulating Hope

This is the final of two features about PPS National’s Community Coordinators. These unsung heroes work within communities to help citizens understand how to influence positive change in the places that they call home. Becky Glover came to work for PPS in 2009 at a time when she was “growing frustrated and weary with folks talking about public schools, but not actually doing anything hands-on and effective to strengthen or improve them.” Her son graduated from a public high school that same year. Becky’s family had experienced great benefits by being a part of the public schools over the years:...
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Brown v Board of Education: A Divided Legacy?

An Interview with former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Fred Banks, Jr. This article is based on an Interview with former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Fred Banks, Jr. Currently, Judge Banks is a senior partner in the Jackson, Mississippi office of the Phelps and Dunbar law firm — established in New Orleans, LA in 1853, with offices across the Gulf Coast, Raleigh, NC and London, England. Fred Banks, Jr. was in middle school in Jackson, Mississippi at the time of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision in 1954 (subsequent references: “Brown v. Board”). Years later (1968), he...
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Empowering People to Transform Their Communities

This is the first of two features about PPS National’s Community Coordinators. These unsung heroes work within communities to help citizens understand how to influence positive change in the places that they call home. Chiquikta Fountain worked as a Parents for Public Schools Parent Coach for five years before becoming a PPS Community Coordinator. The new position meant working within communities to educate people about how to help improve their community’s standard of living. At first, the job was not exactly what she had in mind, to say the least. Chiquikta admits that the job had to “grow on her,”...
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PPS of Pitt County Provides Special Workshop to Prepare Kindergarten Parents for School

Each year around January and February, a special group of parents begin to call and email Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County. The conversation usually begins with something like, “I can’t believe the time has come!” or, “How did my baby grow up so fast?” These parents have questions about kindergarten, such as how to register their child, when and how to know which school their child should attend, and, how to navigate the school choice option in Pitt County (where some schools have an Open Enrollment policy). Thankfully, as those calls and emails begin to roll in, PPS...
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Working for Education Funding and Equity

All Parents for Public Schools chapters share a mission of supporting quality public education for everyone. The context of the Hawai‘i chapter is different in a few ways. Hawai’i is the only state with one school district, the only one that does not fund public schools with property taxes, and Hawai‘i has the highest private school enrollment in the country. Hawai‘i also ranks 45th in per student funding and has the lowest teacher pay (adjusting for the cost of living) and highest teacher turnover. This school year, over 1,000 classrooms are without a qualified teacher. Native Hawaiian students are more...
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Pitt County Economic Sector Reps Unite to Show Students Their County’s Career Options

Grow Local A subtitle goes here Great things happen when communities unite their resources! Pitt County Schools, the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce, and the Pitt County Development Commission joined forces to sponsor Grow Local, a weeklong opportunity held March 18-22 for local businesses to highlight the careers available to the county's middle and high school students. Kathy Herring, board member of the Pitt County PPS, served on the planning team, providing input as organizers designed an event they hoped would engage 1,000 students with businesses across the county. They were thrilled that almost 3,000 students participated, taking advantage of...
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Community Conversations: Equity Major Theme

business team meeting
Each year, PPS-PC conducts community conversations with hundreds of individuals gathering experiences about our public schools. We compile those comments into a written report that is also presented orally to our Board of Education.  We include recommendations for what should continue and any changes the community might like to see. As we tell participants at the conversations, we like to imagine that PPS-PC is a vehicle that holds the voices of the community and drives them to key decision makers in our community. This year, 262 individuals participated in 21 conversations. Participants included a diverse range: Kiwanis and Rotary clubs,...
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