Microsoft - Helping to Create Quality Education in America

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Organization's Mission Statement

In My Shoes, Inc – THE EDUCATION CENTER’s mission is 1) to educate parents on education, 2) to teach parents how to recognize quality education, and 3) to teach parents how to create quality education for their child. When we educate parents on education, parents know what quality education and a safe learning environment are and how to create them even when poor quality education is the norm, expectation, and standard.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Introduction: The Need for In My Shoes, Inc. – THE EDUCATION CENTER

In My Shoes, Inc.-THE EDUCATION CENTER was founded as an answer to the lack of honesty that exists in Georgia Public Schools. I like to tell the story that initiated my concerns in Georgia's education system. These alarms eventually led me to establish In My Shoes, Inc-THE EDUCATION CENTER.

After moving to Georgia, I registered my son in the local elementary school, which I later learned was considered to be one of the better elementary schools in the school district. In March, two months later, my son's father and I attended the school's open house. During open house, my son's teacher approached us. She was very nice. We sat down and the teacher began showing us our son's grades, A's and B's. She was very delighted to inform us that our son made the Academic Honor roll. I remember looking at his teacher in a state of puzzlement and asking, "How? Why? He can't spell. You didn't notice?"

Her response was bizarre, unprofessional, and unethical to me. She said, “Yes, but we use a whole language approach and he did very well. He's an excellent student." My response was a very firm, "I don't care what you use; you are going to create a generation of students who can't read."

When we arrived home, I sat my son down and jokingly stated to him, "You know you don't spell well, and you hate looking up words." My son laughed. I told him that we were going to stick with the standards from his former state and our expectations are higher than those of Georgia.

One side note: I never put the bumper sticker on my car. You know that bumper sticker that reads, 'My child is on the honor roll at ___________ school'.

By the end of the next school year, I had transferred to another school district to teach. My son was able to transfer to a school within that district, a school that taught reading/language arts using phonics.

Unfortunately, this story discloses some of the problems that plagued Georgia's public schools. They are:

1) Low standards and low expectations 2) Grade inflation 3) Inadequate curriculum 4) Willingness to mislead parents about their child's abilities 5) Willingness to mislead students about their abilities

Sadly, too many of these problems currently exist in schools across Georgia.

The schools my children attended were great schools according to my standards. Still, in order to get the most out of the educational system, I had to supplement their education with additional learning tools and assignments. In addition, there were times when I had to be persistent in my endeavors to get the best education possible under federal law.

I have learned that public schools that succeed in Georgia have great teams. The most valuable members on the team are the parents. Parents are the ordinary heroes of their child's success and these schools flourish in spite of a bad 'franchise'. The ProblemWhen In My Shoes, Inc. – THE EDUCATION CENTER started, the biggest challenge was that people did not know what quality education looked like. Therefore, many parents were unaware that their child was receiving poor quality education. So, from the beginning we had to get people to talk about education in Georgia. In Georgia – a state that ranks near the bottom in education. Slowly, as people migrated to Georgia from other states who recognized the educational problem in Georgia, the conversations began The Growth and Expansion of In My Shoes, Inc. – THE EDUCATION CENTERIn 2001, our organization reached roughly 100 people. In 2003, maybe 2000 people knew about us and our services. I knew that we needed to reach more people to have a greater impact in the lives of children receiving a quality education. I knew we needed a website. However, the cost of someone building and monitoring the website was unaffordable, because In My Shoes, inc had no budget and very few donations. Microsoft FrontpageAs I asked questions about website designed, someone mentioned Microsoft Frontpage. I was told that Frontpage was easy to use and learn especially if you were skilled at using Microsoft Word. I went online and found that I could test drive this product for 30 days with no obligation. I did. When we started the website ( in 2004, our traffic was less than 1000 visits per months. In 2006, we average 250,000 visits per quarter. Today, in 2009, several million visits will occur on our website this year. Microsoft Movie Maker and Media playerWe use Microsoft Movie Maker as part of our editing process. We use the media player on our website. Microsoft Publisher and Office 2007Microsoft Publisher is use to create our brochures, flyers, and most of our education material and booklet. I like the ability to save in PDF and ADD-on for Microsoft 2007. The greatest plus is that I have yet to come across a file that Office 2007 cannot open. Overall, we have greatly extended over services to more people through our website. Because of funding, we have yet to lease or find approximate office space. Therefore, we have relied almost totally on our website. As a web based organization, we have help people as far away as Arizona with education issues and concerns. In addition, I am the IT person for the organization. And, if we had to pay someone to do tech support, we would not be in existence 8 years out. My goal is for In My Shoes, Inc – THE EDUCATION CENTER to reach the pedestal of being a nationally recognized educational organization.

The Impact of In My Shoes, Inc. – THE EDUCATION CENTERSimply put, many parents are not making a move without In My Shoes, Inc. = THE EDUCATION CENTER. I like to say we are like EF Hutton. When we speak, people listen.

Our organization is a trailblazer in this area. There is not another organization that educates parents on education to the extent and purpose in which In My Shoes, Inc – THE EDUCATION CENTER does.

Over the next 2 months, we will conduct over 42 classes in Metro Atlanta compared to roughly 24 for the entire school year of 2008 to 2009.

Increased Parental Involvement

This year In My Shoes, Inc –THE EDUCATION CENTER instituted THE PARENT READ, which is increasing parental involvement . 1) The PARENT READ has been designed to increase and move groups of parents to get involved in the schooling and education of their children. Therefore, creating a more successful school.2) The objectives are to get groups of parents focused and have a way for them to air their concerns, comments, and issues in a constructive manner. Plus, In My Shoes, Inc will support the parents with any and all available resources. One goal has been achieved; create a place where concerned and involved parents can find, meet, interact with one another and share ideas and effective strategies.3) Last year, In My Shoes, Inc. decided to focus on groups of parents in addition to individual parents. The reality is that there are schools with no organized PTSA or PTO and those parents are without knowledge and guidance

AdvocacyApproximately, 25 percent of In My Shoes, Inc - The Education Center's services involves advocacy. Why? When we educate parents on education, parents know what quality education and a safe learning environment are and how to create them. Therefore, if a need for resolution occurs, it happens very quickly

Submission Category
Transformations to Maximize Impact