Washington comes to Montessori at the first Montessori Public Policy Initiative.
We’re so used to battling headwinds that it feels strange to finally have the wind at our backs. Well, strange and exciting, and dare we say, incredibly hopeful. After so many years of experiencing obstacles in traditional education, we see parents, the public and policymakers wanting what we all know works: education that’s child-centric, emotionally and intellectually engaging and accountable for developing the full range of skills necessary for future success.
The good news was on full display at the first ever Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) retreat in Washington, D.C., which we were thrilled to fund and participate in. Montessori is just one of the many ideal learning models the Trust sees as key to providing children, parents and communities with the best education possible.
MPPI is a joint collaboration between the Association Montessori International/USA and the American Montessori Society, which brings together Montessori advocates from across the country to advance policies that advance public and private expansion of Montessori options for children.
No, the good news isn’t that Montessori came to Washington; it’s that Washington came to Montessori. Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the Department of Education, kicked off the event by expressing the Administration’s growing interest in child-centric, highly developmental education models. Yes, you read that right: developmentally-appropriate education models like Montessori are squarely on the radar of our nation’s top education leaders.
With advocates and policymakers in the same room for the first time, MPPI began developing a singular plan for advancing effective Montessori options for children nationwide, including:
- Supporting both public and private expansion of Montessori schools.
- Leveraging compelling research and data on the success of the Montessori method, making it relevant and attractive to policymakers.
- Engaging Montessori parents in advocacy efforts and providing them with platforms to communicate Montessori’s positive impact on their children.
- Considering non-traditional partnerships and messengers to champion Montessori to a broader audience of influencers and decision-makers.
- MPPI and state advocacy groups need to present across Montessori and non-Montessori professional conferences, while taking steps to increase awareness about policy changes that encourage the Montessori model in public education.
The day is looking brighter for popularizing the nurturing education we know is best for children, families and communities. But we have to seize that day and every day to make sure policies encourage the adoption of ideal learning models. MPPI’s work is a great opportunity. There are many more. Let’s get to work.