As a D.C. city councilman during the 1990s, Kevin Chavous embraced the parent power movement began by Virginia Walden Ford and helped make the District one of the prime centers for school reform. Then in 2003, he took it a step further and teamed up with then-D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams to get Congress to create the now-shuttered D.C. Opportunity school voucher program. The move may have came at the cost of his career, losing to future D.C. mayor Vince Gray a year later. But he helped thousands of the city’s children escape its dropout factories and improve their odds for better lives.

In this video, Chavous explains why Parent Power and school choice must no longer be a political football, especially for old-school black politicians too stuck in the past (and in their ties to teachers unions) to help the very kids for which they express concern. Watch, listen to this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast, and consider how we can ensure that parents are the kings and lead decision-makers in education.