During more than 35 years at Policy Studies in Education, my nonprofit organization, I have worked hard to improve K–12 public education. I have developed traditional and innovative K–12 curricula in all subjects, developed K–12 student examinations for school districts and states, and evaluated new programs in over 400 school districts nationwide. I have trained thousands of teachers and administrators.
But some of my most interesting times and proudest achievements have come from projects I have done with parents and school board members. The founder of my organization and I have created policy systems for school boards and trained school board members across the U.S. I am constantly reminded that school board members happen to be some of the smartest, savviest individuals connected to our public schools. They do not get nearly enough credit.
And what about parents? I have had the great pleasure of working with parents in big cities and medium-sized suburbs and tiny rural towns. Some did not graduate from high school, and some had advanced college degrees. Some had great jobs, and some had no jobs. But they all cared deeply about their children and what they were learning in school, and most of them were ready to pitch in. That is why my organization came up with checklists and handbooks that would help parents do just that.
Quite recently, I served as the chief consultant in the design and establishment of City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology, New York City’s first public Early College high school with a career and technical education focus. City Poly created an innovative trimester system that enabled students to complete high school in three years instead of four. Many of my best memories of City Poly are of the parents, who stepped up and did whatever they could to make City Poly a success.
I have done a lot of things in my career. I have conducted market studies for over 150 colleges. I have consulted for state legislatures, state boards of education, state education departments, and foundations. I have spoken at nationwide and statewide meetings of school board members, superintendents, curriculum directors, and principals. I have written books and articles.
What I have learned over and over again is that we need to parents and school board members to make public education thrive—just like the ones I have worked with for 35 years.
Read Regina’s thoughts about getting control of what matters in education at ParentChat with Regina.
Read more about Regina on the Policy Studies in Education website here.