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Newswire: January 23, 2013

Vol. 15, No. 3

CER at 20. Yep it’s that time again. Another anniversary. This one is the 20th, and we will celebrate the tried and true classics of education reform –– the people and the issues –– on October 9, 2013, in Washington DC. A conference and review of the movement during the day, a gala to beat all galas at night. Mark your calendar. You will not want to miss it! Speaking of another kind of Miss…

HIT OR MISS? The Mississippi Senate approved an amendment to the state’s weak charter law last week, creating an additional authorizer route to improve the chances that schools will be approved outside of the school board monopoly. That monopoly is drumming up myths and fear surrounding the potential for new people to come into the state to run schools (oh, my!) and that some could actually dare to be from companies that pay taxes, and who have a solid track record of education in other states. A group of status quo citizens parading around as a parent network have caused House Ed members to restrict the already modest Senate proposal. With MS education scraping the bottom, and kids in jeopardy, it’s hard to imagine why brave lawmakers would accept more mediocrity.

CHOICE IS A CIVIL RIGHT. Congratulations President Obama on your second inauguration and how fitting it fell on the day we recognize Dr. King. Many reformers tweeted with pride as you recalled “The Preamble” from our Declaration of Independence, as you called for us to equalize the playing field for all Americans. You mentioned education, but you did not mention equity there. Unshackled by union payback and votes, and as we prepare to celebrate National School Choice Week, it’s time to revisit your opposition to school choice, challenge your supporters and truly equalize opportunity in America. We were reminded of the impact politics has on one’s point of view when we uncovered again this letter from then-Gov. Clinton to Wisc. Rep. Polly Williams as she launched a movement for school choice from the African-American community, back in 1990! Her legacy took hold and grew. As president, Clinton would go on to veto the program many of us fought for in DC, and a version eventually became law, though not without opposition. Join us now, post election, in this latest horizon for civil rights.

MANDATE FOR LEADERSHIP. For our “new” leadership, even a limited federal role can accomplish much for education. Mandate for Change offers evergreen advice for any government leader or policy maker, now and in the future. Mandate is a call to action – and we must begin to act now.

BAEO. Join others united to resolve the aforementioned inequities when the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) convenes in Orlando from March 14-16, 2013 for its annual symposium.

STAY INFORMED. Get in the game at the Media Bullpen, the nation’s largest and only aggregator of education news. Set up personalized feeds, comment and share national, state, and local news from CER’s 24/7 virtual newsroom.