There is a dizzying array of choices parents must make about education, starting with choosing between schools and leading to an endless set of choices within a school. An emerging leader in supporting parents with these choices is EdNavigator, based in New Orleans. EdNavigator works with parents to help them assess for themselves the needs of their children, navigate the school selection process based on that assessment, and make ongoing education choices.

“Parents should make their own decisions based on what they think is best for their children,” says Tim Daly, EdNavigator’s co-founder. “But we can lend a hand to make that easier. Weighing dozens of school options, each with their own unique trade-offs, is a lot of work. Without support, the choice isn’t really choice — it’s just stress and confusion.”

Families Empowered, working across Texas, similarly helps parents understand their school choice options. “We play the role of a bridge for parents in a broken information marketplace,” according to Colleen Dippel, founder and CEO of Families Empowered. “We make an intimidating system accessible and give parents support in making their own decisions about what’s best for their children.”

Dippel also noted that “the more parents understand their choices, the more aware they are that those choices may not be sufficient and the more motivated they are to get organized to address that.”