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NEWSWIRE: November 25, 2014

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Vol. 16, No. 46

THANKSGIVING. As families across the country prepare to have turkey, watch football and count their blessings, we at CER have a short list of what we’re thankful for this holiday season.

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While we must work to accelerate the pace of reform, we’re thankful for more choices in more states, as more families continue to be able to find the best learning option for their child.

A study out of Florida found that four in ten students in Duval County attend a school of choice. This shows how Florida continues to be a leader in delivering Parent Power by continuing to create ways for families to access better options. That’s what happened with Denisha Merriweather, who thanks to a tax credit scholarship went from dreading school to making the honor roll and ultimately putting her on a path towards a master’s degree. ALL children deserve the same opportunity regardless of where they live, and we won’t stop until that happens.

We’re thankful for the rise in classroom innovation and technological advancements that are helping kids learn.

Last week, 300 educators came together to learn best practices in implementing technology in the classroom from Franklin Academy High School in Wake Forest, NC. “AWESOME! Great presenters and I came away with many ideas to try with my students.” “This presentation was fun and entertaining; a great introduction to meaningful apps for students!” These were just some of the testimonials from the conference held last week in North Carolina. As conference attendees will surely attest, there’s no denying the burgeoning role of technology in the classroom. It’s for this reason that resources like CER’s Digital Learning Toolkit ask how technology is helping students, and why we can’t just magically say, ‘innovation’ and act like technology on its own is doing something. 

We’re thankful for the truth tellers, who combat efforts of misinformation that aim to preserve the status quo.

In the quest to hit the gas pedal on creating more and better opportunities for students, it’s just as critical to check the blind spot for attempts to roll back Parent Power. Separating fact from fiction was most recently necessary yet again in Michigan, where charter schools continue to fight strong opposition. In fact, Michigan’s charter sector is one of the strongest in terms of holding schools accountable for student results, and schools receive positive guidance from independent, knowledgeable authorizers. As charter school enrollment and wait lists continue to grow, it’s imperative that the American public knows what charter schools are and what they aren’t, as myths and misinformation continue to plague media coverage and permeate public psyche.        

We’re thankful for increased information and transparency.

Thousands of District of Columbia parents attended ‘EdFest‘ this past weekend, an informative public schools fair where parents could learn about different public school options. Both charter and traditional schools put out pamphlets, displayed school colors and discussed with parents why their school might present the learning fit for their child. These types of events have been held in the past, but this year marked a positive change with the inclusion of traditional public schools, highlighting the charter ripple effect that occurs when parents are given options.

We’re thankful for all of you who continue to support @edreform.

Hashtag Grey Sun 2After the turkey leftovers are stowed away, CER and groups around the world are turning their attention to #GivingTuesday, an online fundraising effort taking place just five days after Thanksgiving. CER’s #GivingTuesday goal is to raise money to accelerate the pace of reform so that we can deliver on the promise that EVERY child can learn. Click here to find out how you can give back on #GivingTuesday! 

#GivingTuesday isn’t the only way to make sure all children have access to education options that work best for them. If you’re a federal employee, you have a special opportunity to ensure all children have access to opportunities that best meet their needs by giving to CER via the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) of the National Capital Area. Click here to learn more or share this opportunity with someone you know in the federal government!