ProvParents statement on review of Providence Schools 6/10/19
The information-gathering phase in the review of Providence Schools called for by Governor Raimondo and Mayor Elorza wrapped up last week. To help ensure the review team heard as much as possible from parents, ProvParents volunteered time to facilitating listening sessions. We were inspired by the commitment, energy and insight we heard there, as we have been over the past six months. When the report of findings is released later this month, we expect parent concerns will be at the forefront; we are prepared to speak up if they are not.
Unfortunately, parents faced significant obstacles to engaging in the process for gathering feedback. In particular, ProvParents was disappointed at the reliance on on-line surveys and the assumption that parents would come to a handful of centralized events (about which they had very limited notice) instead of reviewers prioritizing going to school and community events to talk to families. When decision-makers move into the next phase of this process these issues in reaching families must be addressed. This will require investment of time and funds as well as more creative thinking about how to connect with families.
Looking ahead we are prepared to work tirelessly to amplify families’ voices and to continue to engage with city and state leaders to develop plans for improving our schools. Making meaningful changes and tackling the challenges we face in Providence’s public schools requires all of us working hard and working together. There can be no just or effective solution without partnership. Our kids deserve it.