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.
As education — and education politics — continues to go through a cataclysmic change, there is little doubt these feelings will drive the decisions voters make in the coming year, impacting an entire generation of school kids to come.
It has been decades since we saw a political debate around the fundamental value of public education like the one we are seeing today. Schools and school boards have become a political battleground. School Choice is ascendant. There's no doubt that the politics being forced into our public education system will be front and center this election year.
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 we call the Message Collaborative, which is working to craft new ways to talk about education so that the issue is elevated in the political discussion, and education champions are more effective when engaging and activating voters.
[ + - ] DATA STORY: How Important Is Education To Voters?
Murmuration currently works with nearly 50 campaign partners across the U.S. Last cycle, we supported our partners 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.