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Newswire – January 3, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR! As we gear up for another year of creating great opportunities, working to allow innovation to flourish in education and quality school options to expand across the country, we pause briefly to look over our shoulder at some of the highlights from 2017. We kicked off the year by advising a new Administration how to forge a new path to make education great again. “The First Hundred Days – The Path to Going Bold on Education Innovation and Opportunity,” carved out clear expectations to the newcomers to town, and we’re gratified that by Spring some of CER’s recommendations were put in place as the DoEd began to pare back the federal regulatory briar patch and reorient the department’s focus to highlight key innovations from K-20, most recently highlighting some of the nation’s most effective personalized learning advocates at Secretary DeVos’ innovation summits.

IN JUNE, we shook up the edreform community with “Charting a New Course. The Case for Freedom, Flexibility & Opportunity Through Charter Schools” which in turn has shaken up policymaking and put the charter blob on notice that getting in the way of innovation and opportunity will no longer be tolerated. In July, we went to war with AFT president Randi Weingarten calling her out for her characterizing charter advocates as racists, and shortly after that, we called out the NAACP – and organized our Voices of Color, Voices for Opportunity campaign – to challenge the association’s unfortunate and unjust opposition to charters.

COME FALL, we found ourselves in conflict with actor Matt Damon who, as narrator of the union-backed, propaganda-ridden “Backpack Full of Cash” did a hatchet job on charter schools. We were also hard at work on policy matters promoting personalized learning, advocating for innovation in rural education, and developing a tax credit proposal to help support apprenticeship and workforce training.

AND AS A HOLIDAY PRESENT to all those who care about education reform, we launched a weekly podcast. It’s called Reality Check with Jeanne Allen – because when it comes to what’s in the news about education, everyone needs a Reality Check!

NOW, AS 2018 BEGINS, we would pause for a breath, but we don’t have time. Next week we travel to the Hill to serve on a panel discussing a New Opportunity Agendafor 2018. Organized by #EdTaxCredit50 Coalition, and moderated by its Executive Director, Thomas Carroll, the panel will feature: Jeanne Allen, Founder and CEO, Center for Education Reform; Lindsey M. Burke, Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy; Robert C. Enlow, President, EdChoice; and William A. Estrada, Esq., Director of Federal Relations, Home School Legal Defense Assn. Details: Jan 11, 8:30 am-10:00 am, 300 First St, SE, Washington, D.C.

SPEAKING OF UPCOMING EVENTS. National School Choice Week kicks off January 21st and runs through the 27th. For those of you who’ve been trapped in a cave since 2011 and are unaware of this annual extravaganza we’ll tell you that, last year alone, the week spawned 21,392 events in all 50 states, saw 16,786 schools participate, was endorsed by 713 elected officials, and generated more than 9,000 positive news stories that reached 222 million Americans. In addition to spreading the word about the benefits of school choice the week provides schools, individuals, and organizations with the opportunity to celebrate the benefits of school choice. You can find out more at www.schoolchoiceweek.com. Better yet, get involved!

AND IN A FINAL NOD TO THE YEAR JUST PASSED. We’ve mentioned NY EdTech Week before and will put an exclamation point on the end of last year by saying “If you missed it in 2017, DON’T MISS IT IN 2018!” It’s a fantastic gathering that this past December featured such luminaries as Basis Founders Olga and Michael Block, Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz, College Board chief David Coleman, and Constitution Center’s Jeffery Rosen. Check out our panel with the latter two and all the excitement you missed by following @NYEDTECHWEEK And watch that space for information about this year’s opportunity to engage with some of the brightest most innovative folks in the ed tech community.

COMING UP NEXT WEEK. Reform & Resolutions. Until then, stay warm, and Happy New Year!