In 2012, the Education Program of The Heinz Endowments funded AISR to conduct a scan of parent-led, community-based school reform efforts. The findings, reported in Family Engagement and Education: A Research Scan and Recommendations, found that while there was high interest from parents and community organizations, there was little capacity to build and sustain this work locally.
Pittsburgh Parent Power (PPP) arose from these findings in 2014 to build the capacity of community-based organizations to support parents to lead school reform efforts affecting Pittsburgh Public Schools. Through this initiative, fifty participants across ten organizations received ongoing training and support from AISR on organizing, coalition building, leadership and campaign development, implementation, and messaging.
In 2015, the Heinz Endowments granted $700,000 to AISR to support the second phase of this work. PPP Phase II supports four promising, community-based, parent-led engagement and organizing campaigns that were initiated in the first year of PPP across seven different organizations. AISR’s ongoing capacity building and technical assistance work includes:
- Cohort-wide gatherings and trainings: Staff and leaders from each campaign effort come together for a day of learning, capacity building, and action planning. Each all-day training session is developed with feedback and input from PPP participants.
- Technical assistance for individual campaigns: Each PPP campaign is assigned an AISR staff facilitator responsible for assisting teams in the development of their organizing and engagement work. Examples of AISR technical support include campaign planning, research and policy support, meeting and training facilitation, and coordination of partnerships and coalitions.
Partner Spotlight: The Education Rights Network and One Pittsburgh
By Tracie Potochnik, AISR Blog 10/24/16