As viewers follow the two principals and their hundreds of students, they get a glimpse into the uncertain futures of both schools. The struggles at Harvard Park and Nash — and the successes forged by Purcell and Dunbar — lay bare the crises afflicting much of American public education. In these crises, we can see that the futures of millions of public school students, of public education — and of the nation — certainly hang in the balance.
Both principals in The Principal Story stress the importance of parent and family involvement in their child’s education. We’re curious what experiences POV viewers have had with their local schools across the country. On family night at Harvard Park School, Principal Kerry Purcell says, “We thank you so much for really caring about your children.” When was last time you heard that message from your school? What do you think parents and community members should do to be more involved with improving the education of America’s children? What should schools do when families refuse or are unable to be involved? Share your thoughts and stories below in the comments section.