Founded in 2011 by public school parents, Families for Excellent Schools is a community organization that fights for every child’s right to an excellent education. Through organizing and political work, we work to amplify the voices of families over the din of electioneering and special interest campaigning. Rather than speak on behalf of public school parents, Families for Excellent Schools empowers parents to speak for themselves.
FES implements four key strategies to ensure success:
- We partner with schools to develop a solid base of institutional support in their work with families.
- We train and develop parent leaders, who plan and lead our work over time.
- We grow neighborhood chapters and a city-wide organizing committee, which leads our campaigns and engagement efforts in their neighborhoods. These chapters work at the local level to build sustained support for key educational reforms.
- Our members organize one other into action through legislative and electoral campaigns.
In New York City
What makes this moment important? For the last several years, the parent voice in New York City has been assumed by a handful of groups associated with other interests—offering an important perspective, but not a complete one. As New Yorkers prepare to elect a new mayor this November with full responsibility for – and control – over the city’s public schools, it is crucial that every parent have an outlet to engage with the candidates and voice their concerns about public education. In the coming months, our more than 5,000 parents will be given that chance through town halls, training sessions, and a candidate forum to ensure that every family has a say in the direction of City schools. Following the election, our work will continue and expand to make sure the Mayor and other elected officials remain accountable to every family in New York City.