For Parents: Local School Info
Parents deserve to know as much about their local schools as possible, so they can choose the school best suited to the unique needs of their child. School boards, administrators, and voters also deserve information on schools so they can help them improve and hold them accountable for results. Unfortunately, teachers unions have strongly resisted both accountability and the information it requires.
But in recent years many groups have begun to compile information on local schools, so that parents and other stakeholders can compare schools’ actual success in teaching students. Here are websites that can help parents begin this important process:
This popular website allows parents to research and compare schools across a district and a state. It also lets parents post their own reviews of schools their children attend. It won the 2007 Webby award for “Best Family and Parenting Site.”"
This site is built with parents in mind. In addition to listing information on schools and districts by state and state education standards, parents are invited to submit their own reviews of school districts. The school finder offers school overviews, test scores, student information and community reviews.
This site provides information to students, parents, teachers, and school administrators on public and private schools. Data is collected from the Department of Education as well as information submitted directly from schools.
Sample Letters to the Editor
One way to help raise awareness of the issues regarding teachers unions is to submit a letter to the editor in your local newspaper. Our director of communications, Sarah Longwell, has written some sample letters on teacher tenure and merit pay to help get you started. Here are some tips on getting your letter published in your hometown newspaper:
The best letters feature state-specific information. Visit our states page to find out the situation is in your neck of the woods.
Keep it short and simple. Most letters to the editor are between 100 and 200 words. This usually only allows enough space for one point to be made, so choose wisely!
Surf our website to find facts to back up your argument. Outraged by teacher tenure? Click here. Interested in merit pay? Check out this link. Worried about the political influence of teachers unions? Click here. Explore our site to find all the information you need.
- Try to be timely. If there’s a contract fight over new evaluation methods or tenure, send in a letter as quickly as possible. Editors are always on the lookout for good arguments and tend to run them soon after a story prints.
Let us know your success stories! If you get a letter to the editor published, send us a link and we’ll feature it on our Facebook page.