With the progression of more educational issues rising in urban communities, grassroots organizations have taken it upon themselves to address the problems that are beginning to surface and advocate for solutions. Comprised of parents, teachers, and citizens the educational grassroots that are active in Chicago and nationwide have found a way to bring awareness and change to urban communities.
Most grassroots do not focus solely on one issue but rather branch out to multiple issues that are socially, politically, and economically impacting the local community and public schools. Organizations such as Change the Stakes advocates for the availability of high quality public school education for all children but also draws attention to the negative impacts standardize testing has on students, especially those in underprivileged communities. Grassroots organizations like the Michigan Parents for Schools tackles economic issues including insufficient school funding while they advocate for better opportunities for students. By spreading this awareness to parents of students who these issues directly effect, grassroots are able to organize in a successful way.
Of course grassroots organizing within urban communities can face a variety of adversity. One of the largest hurdles these organizations must face are implemented policies that regard to issues such as standardize testing that may be a challenge to change; however, with patience and persistency grassroots have the tools and ability to demand and see policy changes. More Than A Score was one of the Chicago organizations that helped spearhead change for Chicago Public Schools’ standardize testing protocols and helped redefine privacy policies for test scores so that it is now harder for schools to give out students personal test scores. As a result of More Than A Score’s efforts, along with other grassroots organizations, a petitioned was created and by the end Chicago Public Schools promised parents they would only administer new standardized tests to 10% of its schools.
Grassroots organizations are necessary to combat educational issues and injustices because they not only spread awareness to urban communities but impact the lives of public school students and their families. Parents who are a part of grassroots organizing not only become a voice for their city but their children as well.