Families & the Community

National Urban League Aims to Boost Parents’ Common-Core Knowledge

By Karla Scoon Reid — April 25, 2014 1 min read
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The National Urban League on Thursday unveiled a comprehensive education campaign to give parents a greater understanding of the Common Core State Standards.

“Put Our Children 1st: Common Core for Common Goals,” which also is supported by the Los Angeles Urban League, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland and the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, joins a number of community-outreach efforts that advocacy and education groups have developed to bring parents up to speed on the new academic standards. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the common core.

According to a news release, in addition to pubic service announcements and digital and social media components, a key part of the campaign will be a series of local “parent circles"—events where parents and community members will learn how the new standards are being implemented in their states and school districts and what changes their children can expect in the classroom. During the meetings, parents also will receive strategies to ensure that the standards are “equitably resourced and implemented.”

“It does not serve our nation well when some children are systemically less prepared than others, nor does it serve our nation to have this issue tossed onto a political battlefield where it becomes a casualty of partisanship and deliberate misinformation,” Marc H. Morial, the president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, said in the release. “When implemented responsibly and equitably, the common core can reach its promise of better preparing all students for college and the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

The National Urban League, a New York City-based civil rights advocacy group, also commissioned a survey of parents in the campaign partners’ communities earlier this year and found that roughly half of the parent respondents were not aware of the common-core standards. The survey also found that once parents had “accurate information,” they overwhelmingly supported the standards, with 91 percent of African-American parents agreeing that the common core will make their children more prepared for college and their careers.

The Urban League’s campaign will focus its parent-engagement efforts regarding the common core in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Nashville and Pittsburgh through December.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.