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Newswire – August 7, 2018

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH TEACHER STRIKES.  The teachers union in Puerto Rico is gearing up for a strike next week. Among their list of demands: no to educational opportunity that would bring desperately needed educational options to families on the island. This strike is yet another indication of why the Janus v. AFSCME case was necessary. Unions continue to do what they want despite what other people want. With Puerto Rico’s latest test scores showing less than 35% of students are proficient in math and only 10% of students in grades 7, 8 and 11 passing standardized tests last year, there is a reason why families are choosing to leave the island in search of better opportunities for their children. Unions’ actions in PR only underscore the importance of the recently-won freedoms for workers in the Supreme Court’s Janus decision. Organized labor could focus on protecting those freedoms, or ensuring that all of the students in Puerto Rico have a qualified educator in front of them who wants to teach in the classroom, instead of walking out on the children who need them most…

MEANWHILE, IN LOS ANGELES.  Unions in the nation’s second largest school district are also reportedly thinking about striking. Let’s be clear – it doesn’t matter the time nor place nor school district a teacher strike occurs, the group that suffers the most are the students. NAEP scores continue to show little to no improvement for students. Only 37 percent of our nation’s 4th graders are reading proficiently, yet teachers are opting to be OUT of the classroom. In which universe does this make sense?

BUT WHAT DO PARENTS WANT?  According to a survey by Democrats for Education Reform, they want meaningful progress that delivers options that are better for their children –reaffirming the ever-growing consensus in most polls by parents and families that educational options of any kind are welcome and needed changes in their communities and lives. These “Education Progressives” as DFER is calling them, are into expanding public school choice and rewarding quality teachers. They seem to understand that funding alone is not the answer – and indicate the continued uptick in the public’s support for choice. Don’t believe us? Read for yourself…

NEW EDUCATION FINANCING TOOLS – LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.  There’s one thing that’s clear – policies that promote opportunities for innovation in education open up endless possibilities to individualize education to fit the needs of the student. ExcelinEd has developed three new resources aimed at helping policymakers understand performance funding better including a framework of the funding model, a tool that models performance funding for a state, and an issue brief that describes early findings from using the tool.

NEW SCHOOLS FOR CRISTO REY NETWORK.  Congratulations to the Cristo Rey Network on the opening of three schools in Oakland, CA and Fort Worth, Texas. Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School is their first school located on a university campus at Oklahoma State University. Check out their amazing statistics on their winning education model.

REALITY CHECK WITH JEANNE ALLEN HITS THE ROAD! #SUMMERTIMEWITHCER.  It’s summer and many of us are hitting the road for vacation at the beach or some other place for rest and relaxation. What’s better than having a daily dose of beach-worthy podcasts selected for your listening pleasure? Follow us at @edreform as we release a podcast a day just for you! Don’t want to wait? No problem! You can find a list of all of our podcasts on our website.