Keri Rodrigues, Founding President of the National Parents Union (NPU) and a mother of three, is referred to as “arguably the most successful parent organizer in education advocacy today.” Her commitment to social, economic and educational equity for children and families spans decades.
In her career, Rodrigues has been an award-winning journalist; a labor activist; a senior advisor on dozens of nonprofit, ballot-issue and political organizing campaigns both locally and nationally; and an elected member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, serving on the education reform advisory board, among other roles. Her journey as a parent advocate started when she observed that she and other parents didn’t have a voice in their community regarding politics or policy in education. She organized with other parents and formed Massachusetts Parents United, which is now the largest parent advocacy organization, as well as discovered other pockets of parent power across the country. This ultimately led to establishing the National Parents Union.
Rodrigues was a recent guest on Building the Bridge with Dr. Wendy Oliver and revealed results from a recent NPU survey, which showed growing support for schools to rethink learning. The overwhelming results, by a 2:1 margin, show that parents don’t want to put their children back into the status quo. Parents are really excited about this moment and the opportunity they’ve been given, while at the same time being heartbroken by the fact that the system as it currently exists has been failing our kids.
Rodrigues can see the potential of online learning done right, but also has seen what it looks like when done without proper planning. Even educators who are new to online instruction must embrace innovation and technology, and in doing so can be successful.
Parents notice how their children thrive when they have access to the expertise of online educators who have really mastered their craft. As a result, the NPU survey indicates that parents want online learning to remain an option permanently. This doesn’t mean they want online learning all the time, every day, but it does mean they want the option for online and blended environments for their children. Most importantly, they want the option of a quality online education facilitated by experts in digital learning.
Parents notice their children thrive when they have access to the expertise of online educators who have really mastered their craft. The National Parents Union survey indicates that parents want online learning to remain an option permanently.
Overall, Rodrigues shares the message is to advocate for your child’s education. If you’re not satisfied, do something about it. Reach out to organizations. Band together with other parents. Parents have tremendous impact on politics and policies. If you are feeling dissatisfied with your child’s education, chances are other parents in the same school or same community are feeling the same way.
Finally, recognize that you have choices. You have a choice to put up with the status quo, and you have a choice in online learning. The beauty in online learning is you don’t need to find something that is close to home. You just need to find a program that is right for your child.
Listen to Dr. Wendy Oliver’s interview with Keri Rodrigues here: https://www.edisonlearning.com/newsroom/interview-with-keri-rodrigues-episode-12