PURE exists to support and assure a high quality public education for all children by informing parents about education issues and parents’ rights, bringing parents into the decision making process, empowering parents in their role as advocates for their children, and assisting them in their interactions within the school system.
Some of PURE’s recent accomplishments:
- We co-founded Parents Across America, a national network of activist public school parents. PAA has grown to nearly 50 chapters and affiliates in 25 states.
- PURE has played a major role in changing the discussion about charter schools by exposing the dehumanizing and pricey discipline policies used by the Noble Charter Network, the misleading “100% college-going” claim of Urban Prep charter schools, and the questionable financial practices of the UNO charter network. Noble recently dropped their discipline fines, and UNO is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- We convened More Than a Score, a citywide coalition against excessive testing. MTAS spearheaded a challenge to the inBloom student data gathering program which led to an announcement by CPS that it would not share data with inBloom. The state board of education also agreed not to use inBloom’s data warehouse. MTAS organized parents at CPS 80 schools to opt their children out of meaningless state tests in April 2014.
- Among other honors, PURE was praised by Diane Ravitch, who said, “They are watchdogs for public education in Chicago, and they are fearless. Every city should have a group like PURE.”
While there are other groups working to improve public schools, PURE has a special role in focusing on issues from the parents’ point of view. PURE’s Board of Directors, membership of nearly 800, staff, and constituency are multiracial, multi-cultural, and economically diverse.