National PTA Seeks to Reverse Drop in Membership
Critics question costs, advocacy priorities of groups
When Otha Thornton, the president-elect of the National PTA, signed up to help lead the PTA at Maryland's Meade Senior High School in 2005, the chapter had about 25 members. Within two years, membership soared to 400 as the suburban Baltimore school community mobilized to boost morale and academic performance. Now, he's trying to rekindle that spirit on a larger scale as the PTA strives to reverse a steady decrease in its national membership.
"I tell parents: 'Other people are making choices for you and your children. We need you at the table,' " said Mr. Thornton, who will become the National Parent Teacher Association's first male African-American leader next year.
By any measure, the PTA, whose national headquarters are in Alexandria, Va., is one of the most venerable of America's volunteer-based nonprofits. It was founded in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers and at its peak in the 1960s claimed...
This article is available to subscribers only.
To keep reading this article and more, subscribe now or start a 2-week FREE trial.
Access selected articles, e-newsletters and more!
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- K-12 Teachers
- The International Educator, Multiple Locations
- School Turnaround Facilitator (Stockton, CA) ($83K-$102K/YR
- WestEd, Multiple Locations
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL