Josh Crosson is MinnCAN’s advocacy manager.

Last night, we hosted education advocacy workshop No. 2 of our ongoing series, and the session’s focus—becoming a parent advocate—brought out dozens of parents eager to chat and learn. With skilled facilitator Jillian McAdams at the helm, participants shared stories from their communities, and learned some basic tools to help them take action for great public schools for all Minnesota kids.

Although the group was diverse in backgrounds, opinions and priorities, there were a couple things on which just about everyone seemed to agree, which serve as great reminders for all education advocates:

  1. It might be easier than you think to get involved in education advocacy. Throughout the session, Jillian stressed that, 99 times out of 100, parents who are concerned about a particular educational issue can find other parents with similar thoughts and ideas. So, why not seek out other like-minded parents or existing organizations with aligned goals? We’re lucky that Minnesota is home to tons of groups, focusing on issues ranging from school funding to teacher quality, so it’s relatively easy to find the right group for you!
  2. School success stories matter. A lot. Several parents expressed concern that, too often, all we hear about Minnesota public schools is bad news, and they’re worried that this can have a negative impact on parents, teachers and students alike. So, why not elevate more stories about what is working in public schools, to make clear that all teachers and students can succeed? At MinnCAN, we work to share best practices and success stories from Minnesota’s changing-the-odds schools—at the Capitol, in our reports, on our blog, etc.—and we encourage you to do your part, too. Know of an exceptional school or teacher? Let us know and help us share their story!

We thank everyone who attended this workshop and look forward to hosting more in the coming months, where we share tailored advocacy tactics.

I’m confident that as long as we stay focused on our shared goal of helping every Minnesota kid attend a great school, we can find even more on which we all agree.


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