In his 2012 study of parent organizing by ERAOs, Drew University
ERAOs have chosen units that reflect their policy goals, with some
One of the most common criticisms leveled at ERAOs is that their
The ERAO leaders I spoke with praised the Obama administration's Race to the Top (RttT) competitive grant program for creating momentum behind reform at the state level and providing political cover for reformers.
The recent wave of teacher quality reforms offers perhaps the best evidence of ERAO impact, as no area of education reform has been more strongly resisted by the unions.
But as ERAOs know well, new policies must be implemented before they affect schools and classrooms.
If ERAOs had to recruit a whole new slate of parents every year, they would spend most of their time trying to find people, leaving fewer resources for taking action.
3) Next, I use existing research in political science to build a theoretical framework that outlines some conditions under which parent mobilization is more or less likely to enhance ERAO lobbying efforts.
Before analyzing the importance of grassroots advocacy in ERAO lobbying efforts, it is important to outline what ERAOs are trying to accomplish and where they are they trying to accomplish it.
Mobilizing these parents around a broad reform agenda is likely to be a challenge for ERAOs
, even if they are seemingly a fertile ground for supporting school choice.
It is difficult to precisely gauge the impact of ERAO parent organizing efforts, but it is clear that they are having a large--and increasing--influence on debates at the state and national levels and that their efforts have contributed significantly to the passage of important legislation.
This analysis of ERAO activities offers some key lessons.