Occupy Schools™ is a bold, national initiative launched in Fall 2012 to empower parents to be active, involved and engaged in their children’s schools and to send a clear message that parents are partners in their children’s education. Occupy Schools™ starts where academic success begins - at home – where our mothers and fathers pledge to build strong educational foundations for their families. It will continue into schools and communities across the country, as parents from all walks of life commit to spending more time in their children’s schools, communicating regularly with teachers, sharing ideas and exchanging information with administrators, and holding themselves and others accountable for providing children with the type of high quality education they deserve.
The "Occupy" movement in America has taken on a life of its own in recent months. Yet, Occupy Schools™ is not about pitching tents and protesting. It’s about letting it be known that not only do we care about the education our children are receiving, we are willing to DO something about it. We pledge to be active and involved parents who serve as advocates for our children and for the children in our communities.
Occupy Schools™ was born out of a deep desire and relentless passion to improve the educational outcomes of our children. In early 2012, Mocha Moms, Inc. was invited to participate on a conference call with Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, to discuss released findings of a study conducted by the Department of Education. Among other findings, the study reported that African-American students:
- Have less access to challenging courses in high school;
- Are taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers; and
- Are over three times more likely to be suspended or expelled from school when compared to white students.
This is UNACCEPTABLE and it ENDS NOW. We are going to do our part to put an end to these devastating statistics. Studies show that regardless of the school or the school district, academic outcomes improve for children whose parents have positive and frequent communication with teachers, are actively involved in the PTA, attend school activities and field trips, regularly monitor homework assignments, and who are actively engaged in the school community. Change begins with us. It’s time to act. It is time for us to Occupy Schools™.