Introducing 4Fams: A New Resource to Help Parents Better Understand, Appreciate, and Engage With Their Child’s School

Although America’s children spend most of their days in classrooms, many of their parents find our school systems surprisingly intimidating.

Between issues of curriculum and assessments, of equity and choice, of discipline and technology, and of career training and soft skills, the conversations about designing, monitoring, and perfecting classroom learning can quickly become so complex that they are all but impenetrable for your average mom or dad.

But that wall needs to come down — and soon.

With the Every Student Succeeds Act set to scale back the federal role in education next school year, states and districts will soon have greater authority and autonomy to implement more localized, customized approaches to education. And as that power slides back from Washington, D.C., families will arguably have more influence than ever before over the decisions of their local school boards.

Here at The74Million.org, it has always been our goal to empower parents to engage in this dialogue and debate. And it all starts with decoding, translating, and then explaining education issues and information so that average families can understand the language and the stakes.

As a staff of moms, dads, uncles, aunts, and cousins — as former teachers, administrators, school board members, and tutors — we have always followed this directive in our approach to asking questions, writing headlines, designing our user experience, and much more. Yet too few research-based resources exist to empower families with basic information, definitions, and explanations about key topics in education.

That’s why today, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of 4Famsa new channel at The 74 specifically designed for our growing audience of families who want to better understand their school system. See our launch lineup at The74Million.org/4Fams.

Through a mix of articles, commentary, research analysis, first-person parent essays, and rapid-fire explainer videos (in both English and Spanish), 4Fams will make it easier for parents to search and share our resources. As educators, school leaders, and district administrators design new approaches to family engagement under ESSA, our hope is that these 4Fams resources can better equip parents to participate.

We hope you’ll bookmark 4Fams right here, and that you’ll make the channel part of your daily reading list. And you’re sure to see these parents’ voices incorporated prominently across our network of sites (The74Million.org, LASchoolReport.com, Topsheet.com) as we keep the education conversation focused on families, parental engagement, and how local communities come together to rethink what’s possible in the classroom.

— Romy Drucker (aspiring mom) & Steve Snyder (dad of two)

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