The Parents Advocacy Network is an independent group of parents who are interested in working together to advocate for improving the public schools in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Many of the founding members of the Parents Advocacy Network have been previously involved with the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), some for many years. When the Board of Education disbanded the grassroots-oriented CAC in September 2011 and created a new CAC with 29 members they hand selected, the group started debating whether there was a need for an independent group to advocate for improvements in our schools.
A link to an online survey was sent out to parents who had previously expressed an interest in potentially getting involved with school issues on February 29, 2012. In the next 12 days, 283 surveys were completed. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the survey respondents said they would like to see an independent group form to give concerned citizens a voice in the policies of Anne Arundel County Public Schools:
When asked why they felt such a group was needed, respondents volunteered statements such as “parents should have a voice in what happens in our schools”, “programs have been implemented or removed without any open discussion with community members”, and “the reformatted CAC is not an effective advocacy tool”. The top concerns among survey respondents included that talented students are not being adequately challenged, citizen influence on educational policies needs to be increased, education is being dumbed down, and class sizes at some schools are too large.
The intention of the founding members of the Parents Advocacy Network is to create a group that uses data and creative problem-solving to effectively advocate for specific improvements in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Rather than simply complaining about issues, we want to recommend solutions.
At the May 29, 2012 meeting, the following officers for the Parents Advocacy Network were elected for the 2012/13 school year:
Chair: Joanna Conti
Vice Chair: Brad Myers
Secretary: Rev. Alan Traher
The Parents Advocacy Network is governed by these policies.