Virginia Walden Ford never expected her life to become a movie. All she wanted was to send her boy to a better school. “When I started this journey, it was to fight for my son,” she says. “Along the way it became a fight for all children.”
Ford struggled to help her William after she discovered he was skipping class at his Washington, D.C., high school. He got suspended twice, at a time when drug dealers were loitering on corners in his neighborhood, looking for recruits. If William was going to succeed, or even survive, his mother would have to find a school that inspired him to learn.
So in 1998, Ford banded together with other parents to seek more educational opportunity. They hoped for scholarships their children could use to escape their dysfunctional public schools. “We were a group of low-income and working-class parents,” she explains, possessing one tool: “Our voices.” READ MORE