How 2022 became the year of the parent

“The parent of a child is primarily responsible for assuring that the child acquires knowledge and skills that are essential for effective citizenship.”
Minnesota Statute 120A.22

If there is a silver lining from COVID-19, it is that families became more aware of what their children were (and weren’t) learning in the classroom. They discovered teachers who are working to turn classrooms into ideological battlegrounds, and teachers who focus on the fundamentals of learning and critical thinking but face pressure to politicize our schools.

This leaves parents concerned about the direction of education with limited options — switch learning environments or work to engage parents in their school community to try and make their neighborhood schools better, including at the school board level.

The newly formed, parent-led, and parent-powered Minnesota Parents Alliance realized aligned parent groups, teachers, and school board members didn’t always have a voice on the many concerns that exist within our school system, so MPA has worked to help give them one.

Launched in 2022, the organization’s focus on reclaiming Minnesota schools by educating and empowering parents to be strong advocates for academic achievement, equality, and parental rights resonated with voters across the state. Seventy percent of the school board candidates who attended MPA’s May and July campaign schools won their election this past November.

MPA is “now providing guidance, mentoring, networking opportunities and legal counsel to over 70 current board members, representing 40 districts across the state,” according to the organization’s email communications.

We provided a wide variety of educational resources and hosted a number of events to inform parents on the many concerns that exist without our school system. MPA has become a voice, a voting bloc and a vehicle for creating positive and lasting changes to K-12 education.

MPA has given parents, teachers, school board members, and others a place at the table that has otherwise been monopolized by Education Minnesota, the state teachers’ union.

It is a model that “has captured the attention of local and national media,” continues MPA. “We are thrilled with what we have achieved in just under 9 months, and we are looking forward to ramping up our effort in 2023 and beyond.”