Q: So what can parents do to fight for better schools?
A: Former American Federation of Teachers president Al Shanker said the New York City union needed to “become a disaster” to be taken as seriously as a hurricane that had worked its way up the East Coast. Parents also need to be a “disaster.” No one who has power in education got it by asking nicely. Public education is about politics, politics is about power, and if parents want control over what happens to their kids, they have to go out there and steal power from someone else. I’m not suggesting that parents be out there running schools, but if they were a little more demanding, we wouldn’t be in this mess.