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Newswire: September 24, 2013

Vol. 15, No. 36

SEEKING HELP IN HIGH PLACES. Ten-year old Carlos Jackson had a very important request related to the quality of his education, so important he took it up with the President of the United States. When Carlos decided that he wanted to attend another school after becoming dissatisfied with his current option, he was so adamant about having a say in his education that he wrote a letter to President Obama asking for help. “I thought that he could help me,” Carlos told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “because he would have to know and learn a lot and become educated for him to be president.” While Carlos received a positive response from the White House in his quest for school choice, it’s unfortunate the administration’s Department of Justice is in the process of curtailing school choice for other students down in Louisiana. But in what became a positive coincidence, Carlos was accepted to a local charter school a couple of weeks later. The clarity with which Carlos, together with his mother Janelle Lee-Berrian, recognized his right to determine his own education reinforces the need for parents and students to examine their own educational circumstances, and determine whether their representatives afford them the necessary Parent Power to take action.

INVESTING IN INNOVATION. It appears that Philadelphia will be experiencing an influx of potentially groundbreaking ideas in transforming school curriculums and improving student learning. Together with the UPenn Graduate School of Education, a group of seasoned education investors will take part in “Education Design Studio, Inc.”
designed to bridge the gap between reform-minded investors and educational startups. This will allow for the necessary funding for groups dedicated to incorporating technology to help students learn. Some of the products offered by these groups include but are not limited to: teaching online skills to students with autism, using learning communities and online video forums to improve coursework, and improved data integration for institutions. Education Design Studio, Inc. will be a key asset to these startups as they strive to find more ways to improve student outcomes in the city of Brotherly Love.

REMAINING VIGILANT. One month ago today, The US Department of Justice filed an unconscionable lawsuit against the Louisiana opportunity scholarship program, which if successful could deny the civil rights of countless amounts of children to a better education, and virtually guarantee their return to a failing school. One month later, Louisiana parents and school choice proponents have been steadfast in their opposition to this unnecessary intrusion on a popular and successful state program. Last week, Gov. Bobby Jindal rightly called on DOJ to drop the lawsuit. We also applaud The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), who together with other organizations has entered a motion
to request the lawsuit’s dismissal. Hopefully DOJ will recognize the overwhelming consensus surrounding the popularity of this program, and the opportunities it provides to students in need of better options.

THERE’S SOMEONE FOR EVERYONE at CER’s 20th Anniversary Conference, Gala and Awards Show. Click here to view a full list of leading reformers who will participate in substantive panel discussions on laying the groundwork for another 20 years of change. After the conference, join us for the highly anticipated RatPack EdReformies, to honor six “classics” of the ed reform movement. Still haven’t registered? Go to our registration page and secure your spot today!