New parent advocacy organization is ‘enemy of average’

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There’s a new kid on the block.

yes. every kid.

At the recent Stand Together summit in Colorado Springs, a new education organization was announced. yes. every kid. will represent families, teachers and anyone else who believes that students deserve personalized learning and teachers require freedom and autonomy to achieve that.

“It’s time to say yes to families, yes to educators, yes to communities, and – yes, every kid should have the opportunity reach their full potential,” said Meredith Olson, the organization’s chairman. “We are the enemy of average, and we will stand with anyone who’s ready to help the next generation rise by ensuring every kid receives an education that respects their individuality and ensures educators have the freedom to innovate and reach their students.”

Olson explained that she wants her organization to consider all the options that prevent children from learning.

yes. every kid. stands for the wholesale re-imagination of education where the student is at the center,” she said. “Together, we stand for possibility and opportunity to ensure all students rise by receiving a customized education designed to meet their needs.”

This is a tax-exempt 501(c)4 organization, which allows it a bit more freedom to get involved politically.

It’s different in other ways, too.

“We intend to put all policy options on the table to break the barriers that prevent educators and families from working together to develop the potential of every kid,” said Matt Frendewey, spokesman for the group. “We will work on reforming the school finance system, moving away from standardized testing, advancing diverse policy solutions to mirror the diversity of students, and empowering educators to have more freedom to excel in the vitally important career they have chosen.”

As part of their announcement, yes. every kid. released a poll conducted by YouGov, which educators and the public their thoughts on K-12 education in this country.

Some highlights:

·       Forty-five percent of the public and 48 percent of teachers believe education has gotten worse over the last five years. Only 14 percent of the public, compared with 24 percent of teachers, believe it’s gotten better.

·       Seventy-three percent of the public, and 86 percent of educators, believe K-12 schools should expose students to a variety of subjects so they can find their own passion and educational path, as opposed to 14 percent of the public and 13 percent of teachers who believe schools should focus solely on preparing students for college.

·       Not surprisingly, 56 percent of teachers believe school administrators should have more flexibility when structuring their schools, with only 39 percent of the public favoring the same.

·       A whopping 69 percent of the educators polled believe teachers should help students excel at subjects that matter most to them, rather than force students to follow a path laid out for them; 55 percent of the general public agrees.

yes. every kid. doesn’t have any parents parent organizers on its board, but it’s just getting started. It’s adding field staff and will work with local partners, according to Frendewey, and focus on policies that have local support.

Customization will pave the way to progress by meeting the educational needs of students rather than artificially limiting solutions. yes. every kid. is right to trust educators taking thoughtful, well-informed risks in innovations that move all kids forward to improved outcomes.

Anyone interested in working with yes. every kid. can visit its website www.yeseverykid.com.