Home » Newswire Weekly » NEWSWIRE: January 27, 2015

NEWSWIRE: January 27, 2015

Share This Story

Vol. 17, No. 4

NATIONAL SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK. If our Twitter and Facebook pages didn’t give it away, CER is pretty psyched about National School Choice Week, the annual event that celebrates all forms of learning that have given students the opportunities they need to truly excel. The number of events happening at schools, in communities and outside statehouses has doubled from the previous year, and polling continues to show overwhelming support for school choice and Parent Power. As the number of events have increased, so have the number of students exercising choice, according to data. But for all the progress that’s been made, there’s still a need for MORE options for MORE students. Click here to learn how you can support more parent power in education, and tell your friends, family, and colleagues to text “SchoolChoiceWeek” to 52886 to help raise awareness.

INFORMATION IS POWER. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige offered a great precursor to National School Choice Week by stressing the importance of connecting policy and practice when it comes to education reform. After all, laws on the books go only so far as the parents who know about what kinds of choices are afforded to them. An opportunity scholarship program may be universal, have a high funding allotment, and facilitate school autonomy, but there must be ready access to data so parents have the necessary information to make those choices. Bridging the gap between policy and practice is critical if school choice is ever going to truly accelerate.

(NAPOLEON) DYNAMITE. Students at Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center in Idaho may not stuff tater tots into their cargo pants or dream of becoming cage fighters, but some do get to ride the bus featured in the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Transporting students in movie memorabilia isn’t the only thing Blackfoot offers; the K-5 charter school focuses on individualized instruction and longer days for kindergarteners. Blackfoot is offering sixth grade next year, and its student body has grown to 336 scholars. To celebrate growing demand, Blackfoot students attended a School Choice Week rally at the Idaho Capitol Building, just one of the 95 events happening statewide. Parent Power and school choice are on the rise in Idaho, and working a lot better than Uncle Rico’s time machine.

VOICES FOR SCHOOL CHOICES. National School Choice Week had a strong start thanks to the inspiring remarks from Florida college graduate Denisha Merriweather, a young girl born into poverty who was the recipient of a tax credit-funded scholarship that gave her the opportunity to attend a school in which she thrived. Elsewhere in Florida, school choice advocate Frank Biden outlined Florida’s relative strength in Parent Power, but how there is still more work to do. Across the country in California, parent advocate Julie Collier, parent trigger pioneer Gloria Romero, and blogger of Dropout Nation RiShawn Biddle all made compelling cases for a real shakeup to the status quo. From coast to coast, thousands more are making their voices heard to celebrate school choice in the here and now, but also to ensure these education options reach more kids in need.

THE SCHOOL CHOICE JOURNEY. CER President Kara Kerwin participated in a panel discussion this morning at the American Enterprise Institute that highlighted the positive impact school choice has on families. The event also featured a keynote address from Sen. Tim Scott that covered his introduction of the CHOICE Act. Full video of the event will be posted here.

SCHOOL CHOICE COMES TO CAPITOL HILL. On Wednesday, CER will join fellow advocates, parents, students and lawmakers to celebrate National School Choice Week on Capitol Hill. The celebration will feature more than 250 parents and students, with a keynote address by Speaker Boehner. Click here for more details, and if you’re in the DC area, we hope to see you there!