Putting Families at the Center: The Role of Parent Advocacy Groups during COVID-19

December 2020

As school systems nationwide struggle to deliver learning in a pandemic, parent advocacy groups are stepping up to help Black and Hispanic families who have often been left out of previous education policy making discussions.

This brief profiles four advocacy groups—The Oakland REACH; Parents Amplifying Voices in Education, or PAVE; Kids First Chicago; and Parent Revolution—that have been particularly effective in devising bold solutions during the current crisis.

The work of these groups offers critical lessons for supporting families to lead change during the pandemic and beyond, including:

  • Don’t wait for a crisis to develop relationships with families.
  • Help families navigate the complex system of educational experiences in their city.
  • Create feedback loops with families to keep abreast of their most pressing concerns.
  • Equip families with the skills and power to elevate their concerns and craft solutions.
  • Push the system while offering solutions.