Advocacy

Education news, analysis, and opinion about efforts by individuals or groups to influence education or school policy
Conceptual image of tug-of-war in classroom setting.
Laura Baker/Education Week and sesame/DigitalVision Vectors and iStock/photo
Student Well-Being Schools Face Fears of 'Critical Race Theory' as They Scale Up Social-Emotional Learning
This is a pivotal moment for social-emotional learning as K-12 schools expand programs but experience political pushback in some places.
Arianna Prothero & Evie Blad, December 13, 2021
14 min read
People hold signs and chant during a meeting of the North Allegheny School District school board regarding the district's mask policy, at at North Allegheny Senior High School in McCandless, Pa., on Aug. 25, 2021. A growing number of school board members across the U.S. are resigning or questioning their willingness to serve as meetings have devolved into shouting contests over contentious issues including masks in schools.
People at a school board meeting in late August protest the mask policy set by the North Allegheny school district in Western Pennsylvania.
Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP
Law & Courts Opinion What the Law Says About Parents' Rights Over Schooling
The rallying cry of “parental freedom” perpetuated racial segregation, writes a legal scholar. So why would we let it dictate curriculum?
Joshua Weishart, November 29, 2021
5 min read
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School & District Management 'No Great Option': Why a School District Named After a KKK Leader Is Keeping Its Name
"Somebody's going to get mad at anything we do," board member James Adams said.
Tim Hrenchir, The Topeka Capital-Journal, November 9, 2021
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Opinion It’s Not Just the NSBA That’s Out of Touch. There’s a Bigger Problem
Those who influence educational policy or practice would do well to care about what parents and the public actually want.
Rick Hess, November 1, 2021
4 min read
Paul Martino at his Doylestown home this month.
Paul Martino at his Doylestown home this month.
Elizabeth Robertson/Tribune News Service
School & District Management Parent Frustrated by School Closures Funnels $600K Into School Board Races
“I really started this to get accountability over the administration who dropped the ball, in my opinion," said the Pa. venture capitalist.
Peter Hall, The Morning Call, October 29, 2021
5 min read
Seminole County, Fla., deputies remove parent Chris Mink of Apopka from an emergency meeting of the Seminole County School Board in Sanford, Fla., Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Mink, the parent of a Bear Lake Elementary School student, opposes a call for mask mandates for Seminole schools and was escorted out for shouting during the standing-room only meeting.
Deputies remove a parent from an emergency meeting of the Seminole County School Board in Sanford, Fla., after the parent, who opposes a call for mask mandates for Seminole schools, shouts during the standing-room only meeting.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP
Federal National School Board Group's Apology for 'Domestic Terrorism' Letter May Not Quell Uproar
The National School Boards Association voices "regret" for how it sought federal aid to address threats and harassment of school officials.
Andrew Ujifusa, October 24, 2021
4 min read
Brenda Stephens, a school board member with Orange County Public Schools in Hillsborough, N.C. has purchased a weapon and taken a concealed carry class over concerns for her personal safety.
Brenda Stephens, a school board member in Hillsborough, N.C., says board members face threats and bullying, an atmosphere far different from what she's encountered in years of board service.
Kate Medley for Education Week
Federal School Boards, 'Domestic Terrorism,' and Free Speech: Inside the Debate
From critical race theory to COVID policy, the heat on schools has raised issues involving free speech and the safety of public officials.
Andrew Ujifusa, October 20, 2021
13 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management Opinion National School Boards Association Chooses to Be Part of the Problem
The NSBA chose to blur the distinction between permissible and suspect speech in suggesting the FBI should target unruly protesters.
Rick Hess, October 13, 2021
5 min read
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine Texas's abortion law, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine Texas's abortion law, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Tom Williams/Pool via AP
Federal Is the Justice Dept. Silencing Parents or Stepping Up to Protect Educators?
Merrick Garland's move to use the FBI to help protect school officials from violence and harassment has drawn anger and praise.
Andrew Ujifusa, October 8, 2021
5 min read
Families depart the Mansfield ISD Center For The Performing Arts Center where families were reunited with Timberview High School Students, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Mansfield, Texas. Police in Texas have arrested a student suspected of opening fire during a fight at his Dallas-area high school, leaving four people injured.
Families were reunited Oct. 6 in Mansfield, Texas, after a student opened fire at Timberview High School in Arlington, leaving four people injured. Data show that the start of this school year has been particularly violent compared to previous years.
Tony Gutierrez/AP
School Climate & Safety A Rise in School Shootings Leads to Renewed Calls for Action
A return to in-person learning means a return to school shootings, advocates warn.
Madeline Will, October 7, 2021
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of a large pencil erasing a member of a community.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Nadia Bormotova/iStock
Equity & Diversity Opinion You Can't Legislate Away Black and Gay Educators and Students
Students and teachers shouldn’t see their identity as a subject so taboo that the state must ban all references to it in schools.
Rafael Walker, October 5, 2021
5 min read
Protesters against a COVID-19 mandate gesture as they are escorted out of the Clark County School Board meeting at the Clark County Government Center, on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in Las Vegas.
Protesters against a COVID-19 mask mandate gesture as they are escorted out of the Clark County School Board meeting in Las Vegas in August.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP
Federal School Boards Ask Biden to Review Threats and Violence as Possible 'Domestic Terrorism'
The White House should aid education leaders facing rising disruptions and harassment over COVID-19 rules, a national group says.
Andrew Ujifusa, September 30, 2021
5 min read
Burned playground equipment stands in front of a flattened structure at Walt Tyler Elementary School after the school was destroyed by the Caldor Fire on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in the in the Grizzly Flats community of El Dorado County, Calif. Winds spawned by the arrival of a new weather system Monday afternoon pushed the monstrous Dixie Fire to within about 8 miles (12.8 kilometers) of Susanville, population about 18,000, while to the southeast a small blaze called the Caldor Fire exploded through through Grizzly Flats, a town of about 1,200.
Walt Tyler Elementary School in El Dorado County, Calif., was destroyed by wildfire this August.
Sara Nevis/The Sacramento Bee via AP
Student Well-Being Opinion Climate Change Is an Education Emergency
Extreme weather events and rising temperatures take a toll on students that cannot be ignored even during a pandemic, writes Adam Brumer.
Adam Brumer, September 28, 2021
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Families & the Community Opinion A New Group Battling for Freedom of Thought in Education
Rick Hess speaks with the founder of a new network of teachers and parents who support freedom of thought and expression in education.
Rick Hess, September 23, 2021
7 min read