Coolspringer clued me in to the fact that one such group, the local affiliate of Parents Across America, already exists.
PAA and the Delaware version--Communities 4 Education--don't present themselves as neutral in the education debates.
The Delaware affiliate opposed the expansion of Newark Charter School and is calling for a moratorium on new charters until the law can be revisited.
The national umbrella organization lists a specific set of positions:
Proven Reforms: We support the expansion of sensible, research-based reforms, such as pre-K programs, full-day Kindergarten, small classes, parent involvement, strong,experienced teachers, a well-rounded curriculum and evaluation systems that go beyond test scores.
Sufficient and Equitable Funding: Resources do matter, especially when invested in programs that have been proven to work.
Diversity: We support creating diverse, inclusive schools and classrooms whenever possible.
Meaningful Parent Involvement: Parents must have a significant voice in policies at the school, district, state and national levels. We are not just “consumers” or “customers” but knowledgeable, necessary partners in any effective reform effort.
Privatization: A strong public education system is fundamental to our democracy. We oppose efforts to privatize public education through the expansion of charters, vouchers or other privately-run programs at the expense of regular public schools.
High-Stakes Testing: Excessive reliance on standardized exams narrows the curriculum, promotes teaching to the test and leads to unfair and unreliable evaluations of students, teachers and schools.
School Closings: Closing schools wreaks havoc on families and communities, and too often fails to deliver on promises to create better opportunities for children. We believe in improving the schools we have, rather than shutting them down.
Ignoring Poverty: The nation’s educational “crisis” is made worse by the widening gap between rich and poor. Along with investing in our schools, we should also be investing in families.
I'm not quite there with all aspects of this agenda, being a believer that, under the right conditions, charter schools and school choice can be powerful tools for positive change in public education. I also do not know, at this point, who is involved in Communities 4 Education and what their agenda is.
On the other hand, there need to be more people at the table in education reform in Delaware. Contrary to what we too often hear in carefully manicured press releases, the debate about how best to serve Delaware children is NOT over, we are NOT simply in the implementation phase, and people who raise questions and objections are NOT simply obstructionists.
But, as I have pointed out before, people with questions and skepticism lack an organized voice, and something like Parents Across America and/or Communities 4 Education perhaps gives us a glimpse into creating that voice.