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Allen: “Parents are Clamoring for School Choice Because They Know It Works”

CER President Jeanne Allen Visits with Parents at NCPSO Family Reunion, Discusses High Demand For Expanding School Choice Options

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
July 16, 2012

Despite constant assaults from teachers unions, policymakers, and even many popular politicians, the public – particularly parents – are clamoring for more school choice options. In remarks today to parents at the National Coalition for Public School Options (NCPSO) Family Reunion, CER President Jeanne Allen talked about the demand for more school choice options, the reasons behind it, and why further expanding educational opportunities is imperative. Highlights from Allen’s remarks include:

“Everyday evidence grows that demand for school choice is high and that it extends across the racial, socioeconomic, and political spectrum. School choice is embraced by the largest and most diverse coalition in recent history. A coalition that includes Republican and Democrat legislators, civil rights leaders, business leaders, local officials, and educators. Most importantly, it includes a tri-partisan representation of parents who want – and deserve – the power to choose the best school for their own child.”

“Recent CER polling in several key states shows that support is high for charter schools and for allowing parents to choose a school for their child over having them assigned based on their zip code. Support is strongest among African Americans and those with school-aged children.

“In North Carolina, for example, 70 percent support creating one type of school choice — charter schools. That number jumps to 85 percent among African Americans and 81 percent among those with school-aged children. In addition, 50 percent in the state support letting parents choose their child’s school, with African American support at 68 percent. (Visit www.edreform.com for full results of recent polling in North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee).”

“Right here in Washington, D.C. where 41 percent of public school students attend charter schools, there are still approximately 17,000 more waiting to get in. And the popular and effective DC Opportunity Scholarship Program will not be shutdown this year despite attempts to do so.”

“Parents are clamoring for school choice for one simple reason – they know it works. Both data and experience prove that expanding educational opportunities increases student achievement and graduation rates. Parents know if they have more options for their child’s education, their child has a markedly better chance at being ready for college and for whatever career they choose to pursue.”