About the Film
Through the voices of parents, Parent Power chronicles fifteen years of effective parent organizing in New York City – organizing that has stopped budget cuts, increased school funding, and led to the adoption of a citywide lead teacher program.
Parent Power follows three stages of parent organizing, from 1995 to 2010, across New York City's African-American and Latino neighborhoods. In the first stage, parents in a neighborhood-based after-school center build a local action group to improve a poorly performing neighborhood elementary school. In the second stage, the parent action group helps build a regional coalition of similar community-based groups. Working with local administrators, principals and teachers, and with the support of the teachers union and the citywide school system leadership, the coalition develops, wins approval for, and helps implement a teacher mentor program that significantly reduces new teacher attrition and improves student achievement. In the final stage, Parent Power details how the regional collaborative builds a citywide parent organization that mounts a successful campaign to improve the city's struggling middle schools and then works with the school system to implement the reform program.
The organizing depicted in the film was supported by AISR staff, who helped with data analysis, publicity, and fundraising and also linked organizing groups and coalitions to elected leaders and education reform experts. Norm Fruchter, AISR’s senior policy analyst, produced the film in collaboration with FPS Video Productions.
The goal of Parent Power is to provide an example of successful education organizing to urban-based community groups looking for organizational inspiration and practical guidance in their own efforts to support, demand, and sustain equitable reforms in their own public schools.