My students and their families also had wealth of social capital, but in a different form. In order to maneuver the complicated life-and-death landscape of the Calliope, residents needed to be able to develop complex networks and establish credibility in the community (a.k.a. "street cred."). My students and their families were able to breeze through social interactions and synthesize complex information in order to be safe and lead fulfilling lives. As an outsider, I was at a disadvantage. Social capital like currency isn't always transferable outside of your community. To use money as an example, you can't use American dollars in Australia.
Even though my students' families desperately wanted their children to succeed in school and had earnest intentions, many of them expressed to me that they either did not understand the system or were intimidated by teachers and administrators (some of the teachers had been their own teachers growing up). There was also an underlying parent sentiment that teachers were the professionals and it was disrespectful to argue with them. As a result of the important parent advocacy piece missing, more often than not, school staff and district officials would take advantage of parents and make decisions that were self-serving rather than student-centered.
*Would anyone be willing to share situations where you have had to advocate for your child's educational needs and the outcome?