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Newswire – January 30, 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON… THE STATE OF THE UNION

What We Can Expect. Will the State of the Union address include the state of the union’s education? We should hope so! And we urge the president to use his office and his bully pulpit to make the inextricable link between the most important precondition for success for all Americans — individually and as a nation — education. All indications point toward an emphasis on immigration, the economy, tax reform, infrastructure and national security, using the theme, as one administration official put it, “Building a safe, strong and proud America.”

That strength, as we all know, requires a strong, unequivocal commitment to education opportunity and innovation. “There is only one issue that unites all the rest – education,” said Jeanne Allen, CER’s founder and CEO. “Helping all our people accumulate the broad knowledge and foundation for educational advancement in myriad ways is a precondition for our economic success.”

What We Need to Hear. Making America’s education great again must be a priority! And voters agree. According to the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, most voters – 75% — want to hear the president talk about improving the education system.

For Your Reference. Thirty-five years ago, the seminal report, A Nation at Risk, demonstrated the integral connection between strong education and a strong nation:

“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves … We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.”

A year ago, the president celebrated the accomplishments and school choice success story of Denisha Merriweather (recipient of Florida’s tax-credit scholarship), who’s now an official with the Department of Education. Fantastic! There are more success stories to tell and more work to do. So, watch tonight and hold the president accountable! Engage and share your comments and ours. Jeanne Allen will be live-tweeting; follow her @JeanneAllen.


DID YOU KNOW?

✔ There’s a shocking gap between our Global Competitiveness ranking overall and where we rank in education?

✔ The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index for 2017-2018 ranks the United States as the 2nd out of 137 countries. Yet compared with other top-ranked countries, the US performs poorly in health and primary education, coming in 29th.

✔ It’s clear that the US can’t spend its way out of inequity. The US spends more per pupil (28% more) than most OECD countries: $11,800 per pupil, on average, compared to $9,200 in other OECD countries. Countries where students consistently outperform their peers on math and reading tests, such as Finland and Japan, spend less than $10,000 per pupil.

✔ Find out more in an upcoming CER report: “The Case for an Education Revolution.”


IN THE NEWS

✔ In less than a month, the Supreme Court will hear final oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME. This case could have a huge impact on public workers, and that means teachers. And by “huge impact,” we mean a positive impact. A verdict in favor of Janus would overturn a 1977 ruling that extracting compulsory union “agency fees” from public employees does not violate their First Amendment rights if the fees don’t finance political activities. Newswire is your source for updates on this case and its impact on education.

✔ More voices speak out for our students and empowering individuals and communities. As part of our continuing “Voices of Color, Voices for Opportunity” series, an op-ed by Senator Anthony Williams, David Hardy and Sharif El-Mekki appeared in today’s RealClearEducation.

✔ And, as we say farewell to National School Choice Week 2018, remember that every week is school choice week. Choice is just the beginning, and being the loudest parent for all kids is a good thing. Read more by parent Reggie Barbour.


TELL US YOUR STORY!

Families all over the country have school choice stories to tell. Send us yours!