And that must change. Murmuration believes that equal access to a high-quality public education is a fundamental right for children in the United States. Our education system can be a key factor in sustaining a strong economy and a secure nation, and is a necessary lever to pull in the fight to end the racial injustice and economic inequities that plague our culture.
It is deeply concerning that local school board elections have become heavily politicized flashpoints in the culture wars. Disruption caused by the pandemic has given more people a direct understanding of what is happening in our schools, and new motivation to get involved. Navigating the calls for change will not be easy. These voters are frustrated, skeptical, and tired — of COVID, of economic hardship, of school closings, and more.
It is important for all stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, and community members to be involved in the decision-making process and to ensure that decisions about education are based on sound education principles and the needs of students, rather than partisan considerations.
As education continues to go through a cataclysmic change, there is little doubt these feelings will drive greater civic engagement in the coming years, impacting an entire generation of school kids to come.
Until recently, it had been decades since either side of the aisle debated the fundamental value of public education. Today, schools and school boards have become a battleground. As education policy issues become more central, candidates, stakeholders, and parents will continue to debate a range of critical education policy issues in the coming election cycles.
The contours of the debate emerged during the pandemic, when schools were shuttered and students were forced to learn remotely. Now that schools are open and administrators are wrestling with how to address learning loss, emerging mental health issues, and other challenges facing students, the fight is taking on a new shape. We know when it comes to education, voters are frustrated, skeptical, and tired — and these feelings will potentially drive the decisions voters make at the ballot box.
[ + - ] DATA STORY: Voters See Public Education Headed In The Wrong Direction
Murmuration leads a project called the Message Collaborative, which is working to craft new ways to talk about education so that the issue is elevated in national and local discussions, and education champions are more effective when engaging and activating their communities.
[ + - ] DATA STORY: How Important Is Education To Voters?
Murmuration currently works with over 50 campaign partners across the U.S. Last cycle, we supported our partners, many of whom engage in robust GOTV and voter registration efforts, in more than 70 races across 12 states. In 2020, Murmuration partners participated in 240+ different races across the country — including ballot initiatives, state legislative, and school board contests.
Over the past two election cycles, Murmuration's proprietary technology and analytics were used to send more than eight million text messages, make nearly two million phone calls, send 1.5 million emails, register 50,000+ voters, and knock on 220,000+ doors.