How do you figure out what will bring people to the table?
It takes lots of time and energy to pull together a dialogue-to-change effort so, at the start, you need to be sure that you’ve identified the right topic. It has to be something that all kinds of people in your community care so much about that they will give up some of their time to address the issue and work together to find solutions. So, you need to find out what it is—specifically—about education that is really at issue. Maybe people are worried about a gap in achievement between whites and children of color, or they’re concerned that budget cuts will force some schools to close or consolidate. The schools may be having trouble getting parents to play an active role in their children’s education. Residents may be at odds about renovating an existing school vs. tearing it down and building a new one. Could the high school be in danger of losing accreditation? Is bullying or gang activity becoming a problem?