Exploring Attitudes toward Teacher Led Parent Advocacy Models that Address Racial Education Inequity

Paula Yadel Cole, Hamline University


The question addressed in this project is, “what are teachers and parents’ attitudes toward a teacher led parent advocacy model that addresses education inequity in Minnesota?” The premise of this work is that according to available research, current models for parent engagement in schools are not relevant to families of color. In depth interviews were conducted to understand how six families perceive the education system and how empowered they feel about leading their children towards higher education. The author also collected questionnaire responses to investigate how teachers feel about leading instruction at a potential parent leadership academy. The findings conclude that regardless of demographic or family income differences, all parents feel powerless in their ability to influence change in the school district. The author also concluded that in a hypothetical parent leadership academy, parents with less than 12 years of formal education prefer to receive instruction directly from teachers because of a perceived mutual trust in the advancement of the child. Parents with college degrees, however, are open to training that is facilitated by organizations outside the school. These parents were more concerned about the content of the academy and the instructors’ expertise.