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Wisdom of the proximate — Why parent, student and teacher voices matter in education decisions

Andrea Ellis of Kansas City Action Fund, an organization committed to building a world-class public education for all students through data, policy, and collaboration across Kansas City, details the concept of the “wisdom of the proximate” in public education.  The idea, which means that the people at the heart of the educational ecosystem including students, parents, and teachers, should be at the center of decision making about schools is a central pillar of the organization’s advocacy. Despite recent polling by the group that finds that just 27 percent are satisfied with the city’s public schools, Ellis says that there’s reason to be hopeful about recent progress.

“There’s new optimism in the Kansas City education ecosystem,” she observes. “The Kansas City Public School District is now fully accredited for the first time in a decade. Several charter schools are seeing increased enrollment as more school choices are available to Kansas City parents. The intentional commitment toward collaboration and amplifying the voices of students, parents and teachers could be the difference in improving student outcomes and making our public schools another point of pride.”

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