Things are tough in California but there are absolutely some pockets of good here and there. In Northern California we have RAFT - Resource Area For Teachers. It is a wonderful place that collects educational materials and put them into classroom sets and kits that the teachers can buy for next to nothing. Most items are donated and the work is done almost completely by volunteers. They provide to teachers and after school programs.
Most of all, what works in California is active advocacy on behalf of your children. If you don't advocate for them nobody will. Parents need to know their children, spend time on campus, meet and establish a relationship with the principal, meet and establish relationships with teachers so that the minute you see something heading down a path that doesn't work for your child you can step in and advocate. It is tough in California trying to keep up with what is going on in schools so as parents you need to learn everything you can. Learn how your district works, your school, your local and state government. It is a big task - truly it is a mandatory part of parenthood these days if you want to have a child that can make it to college. You can't be afraid to stand up and speak out.
Laura Taylor is the 2010 Mom Congress delegate from California. This post is part of a series where delegates from around the country share some of the things that are working well in education in their states. Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.