Ben Austin, executive director for Parent Revolution, issued the following statement on Viola Davis’ nomination:
Parent Revolution applauds Viola Davis for her powerful performance as dedicated teacher and community activist Nona Roberts in the film “Won’t Back Down.” Davis’ character, a mother, faces the same difficult circumstances presented to parents in every state of our nation each and every day. The movie brings to light the need to ensure real parent empowerment in communities with persistently failing schools. We are delighted that the NAACP recognized her talents and wish her nothing less than the best on February 1 at the awards ceremony.
Parent Empowerment laws give parents whose children attend a failing school the power to organize themselves and force changes that may help immediately improve schools for their kids. These laws grant parents, including those who form Parent Union chapters, the right to mount a petition and, with more than 50% of parent support, compel turnaround options that include replacement of the school’s leadership and conversion to a charter school. Parent Empowerment laws empower parents to push schools toward a student-first agenda.
Parent empowerment is a parent issue, not a political issue. According to a PDK/Gallup poll, “Seventy percent of Americans favor giving parents whose children attend a failing school the option of mounting a petition drive requesting that the teachers and principal be removed.” Parent Empowerment laws have strong support across the political spectrum, including 61% support among Democrat voters and 75% among independents.
Parent Revolution continues to work with parents, students, teachers, and legislators on the ground both in California and nationwide to mobilize and organize to fix many of our nation’s broken schools. We dedicated to empowering parents so that they can make the choices about what is best for their children.