Parent Revolution announced today that after six years at its helm, founder and Executive Director Ben Austin is leaving the organization to pursue new opportunities. Below are statements from the Parent Revolution board, Ben, longtime Parent Revolution leader Shirley Ford, parent leader Esmeralda Medina, and Students First CEO Jim Blew. Alison Laslett, current Chief Operating Officer at Parent Revolution, will be stepping in as interim Executive Director while the Board searches for a new Executive Director to guide the organization.
Statement from the Parent Revolution Board of Directors:
“Ben Austin has made great strides with Parent Revolution over the past six years, and with the organization now solid and thriving, he has decided to move on to new challenges. The Board is grateful for his hard work and tremendous commitment, and we look forward to our continued growth and increased impact on behalf of underserved communities in our country.
With the success of last month’s first-ever Parent Power Convention, the establishment of the new Parent Power Network, and the positive early academic outcomes emerging from the schools we have helped to transform, Parent Revolution is at an important inflection point. We have accomplished much over the past six years, but we firmly believe that our best days are ahead of us. We have confidence in the leadership team at Parent Revolution and we know that they will be able to effectively carry the torch while we find our next Executive Director.”
Statement from Ben Austin:
“We have had many chapters in the story of Parent Revolution. Over the past six years, we have invented an idea, passed it into law, implemented it, built an organization and scaled a movement.
In the wake of the successful Parent Power Convention and the recent agreement with the LAUSD to work collaboratively on Parent Trigger, we are at an inflection point. We have normalized the idea of parent power and institutionalized Parent Trigger laws into our legal and political framework. The nature of our work has also changed. It's now about long term movement and institution building. It’s time to let new leadership and new energy take the reigns and help shape this next chapter.”
Statement from Shirley Ford:
“When Parent Revolution began six years ago, we had no money, a tiny team, and no idea how we were going to accomplish our goals. But what we did have was a conviction that a powerful movement of parents could help to change the disastrous status quo. Today, six schools have been transformed, states around the country are looking to California’s Parent Empowerment law and our work as a model, and we have fundamentally shifted the conversation about the role of parents in public education. I’m looking forward to continued progress over the next six years.”
Statement from Esmeralda Medina, Coordinator of the Haddon Parents Union (Revolutionary Parents of Haddon):
“We want the world to know that we are still here, we are still fighting alongside Parent Revolution, and we will keep going. Our kids need better schools now, and we will continue to move forward to get a great school for every child in our communities.”
Statement from Jim Blew, CEO of Students First:
“Parent Revolution’s work over the past six years has made an enormous impact on the education reform landscape. For far too long, parents from low-income communities have had little to no power when it comes to helping their kids get the education they deserve. Parent Revolution has carved out a new and innovative path to help parents have real and meaningful power to transform public education. I am confident that Parent Revolution will continue to grow and thrive moving forward under new and dynamic leadership.”
For questions contact:
Gabe Rose, Chief Strategy Officer