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Newswire August 22nd, 2017


Since 1993, the Center for Education Reform (CER) has worked to advance a bold agenda to help our nation’s children achieve the education they deserve.

We fight hard and relentlessly for parent power because we know that education not only paves the way for everyone to participate in the future, but it’s a critical antidote to ignorance, to racism, to hatred. Education of the mind encompasses history, education of the soul encompasses the virtues of compassion and courage.

As tragic national and international events swirl around us, we believe the most important role CER can play is to address the shortcomings of education in this nation, for all learners, at all levels. There is inequity in our educational system, and no matter what solution you believe works best, it is the cause of many of our biggest challenges.

The entire education reform movement was born out of this knowledge –  that education is the key to helping our young people achieve civilized, productive lives in which they can live peacefully and freely, pursuing their own ambitions, and that we must do whatever it takes, with urgency to get them the schools that will help them achieve exactly that.

As we watch our most precious resources go back to school, we recommit ourselves to excellence, equity and justice for all.

OF ANNUAL POLLS. OF ANNUAL POLLS.  Lots of news about what Americans think. First, Education Next released is annual poll on education issues, which you can find here, and which we reflected on here: “The EdNext Poll: The Case for a Moral Imperative”

Then the Gallup Organization released another poll with many questions they’ve asked before on education (read our statement here). Among them was whether or not Americans are satisfied with the quality of education our students receive. A majority remain dissatisfied with education in general but not their own. They also believe private and charter schools work better for kids than public schools (though it would have helped to distinguish between charters and traditional public schools since charters are public… but we digress…). The poll is chock full of interesting tidbits but the bottom line is data is more important than opinion and the data still shows us lagging dramatically. More on that and polls, coming soon.

VERY COOL FOR SCHOOL.  Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS) has introduced an updated dashboard tool that includes 2017 results on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Careers (PARCC) Assessment. The tool is not just a number-cruncher’s dream, it’s an incredibly useful resource for the non-data-philes among us since it allows one to filter results by sector, school, year, grade, and subgroup and actually understand the meaning behind the numbers.

DC SCHOOLS DO BETTER.  Ten years after Michelle Rhee took DC by storm and united with civic and community leaders to add performance to the DC union contract, DC schools are showing progress on the same assessments. Much more needs to be done, of course, but giving credit where credit is due, the moral of the story so far is that systems can improve their lot for all kids if they challenge the status quo.

CER & RANDI IN THE NEWS – AGAIN.  AFT’s Randi Weingarten just won’t give up. Rather than apologize for her racist rant at this summer’s AFT convention earlier this summer she continues to promote her alternative version of history. It is clear that she is making a calculated effort to twist the debate over educational opportunities in ways that are not only dishonest and distasteful, but destructive. When Weingarten first delivered her remarks in July, CER called her out, and called for her resignation. Last week we took her to task again in The Wall Street Journal, under the headline “Randi Weingarten’s Racial Demagoguery.”