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Newswire – October 22, 2019


WARREN’S PLAN...CHICAGO STRIKE. Elizabeth Warren issued a stark return to the past in her much-anticipated education plan yesterday. It’s more than reminiscent of the old initiatives that led the country to a massive decline in educational attainment that we’ve only recently begun to reverse.  The Warren Model looks like Chicago, where she will be today, linking arms with a radical leftist labor movement that celebrates uniformity, squashes differentiation and merit, echews innovation and wants no freedom for anyone in education. But Randi Weingarten of the militant American Federation of Teachers called the plan boosting federal involvement in education and attacking charter schools “transformational.” Her praise is being rewarded with a visit by Senator Warren to the Chicago picket lines where hundreds of public school teachers were forced to strike and 300,000 students have no choice but to be out of school. 

Read CER’s statement here.


NO FOR-PROFIT CHARTER SCHOOLS.  That’s because there’s no such thing! Sanders and Warren think this is a great talking point to corral people.  After all, no one should make money off the backs of kids, right? So teachers should not be paid? Providers of bus transportation, textbooks and technology should contribute their time and resources? Let’s be clear - this isn’t utopia and everything in life costs money. Non-profit charter schools like all other public entities can buy whatever resources they need to do the job, including companies who will hire, train and manage all their operational needs. So Warren wants to get rid of the ability for educators to do what every other social sector in the US can do - hire competent people. Good one.

IN THE EARLY DAYS, a charter in a few states could be awarded to a company or individual, and not just a non-profit. It is still permitted only in Arizona and California but rarely used. The unions, Sanders and Warren want you to believe that people in charter schools which outperform most public schools by every measure are out there making money while the reality is they are doing more with less. Charter schools are underfunded in every state between 10-30% of average revenues AND in most states do not receive any facilities support.

DEMS FOR EDREFORM also seem confused by the idea of business in education and misrepresents the reality. Shavar Jeffries the usually very astute leader of Democrats for Education Reform joined Warren’s cause, in part, though it’s unclear why.  As printed in Politico, "While we agree with the Senator that for-profit charters should be banned and that public charter schools should be held to high standards, limiting high-quality options that have been proven to increase equity within the public school system is the wrong plan for Democrats.” 

TIME TO VISIT MIAMI?  All of the above antagonists of this particular story on education opportunity need to take a road trip to Miami, where the city and state’s diverse provider-model charter schools are not only a major success story but they’ve dramatically impacted the growth of educational opportunities of all kinds throughout the Sunshine state and particularly in Miami. The incredible growth and success of education choice in Florida’s Miami-Dade county is attributed in part to the bright, aggressive and innovative Superintendent Alberto Carvalho who embraces transformational change rather than rejecting it to protect his turf. In this amazing analysis we learn how Carvalho’s leadership has resulted in the percentage of Miami-Dade students choosing their school rising from 35 to 61 percent among the district’s 70,000 kids.

MORE CONFUSED PEOPLE. From Education Next comes a study that reveals that - even though most got their start in charter schools -  “Teach for America alumni are 12 percentage points less likely to support the 'expansion of high-quality charter schools' compared to similar nonparticipants — suggesting an ideological gap between Teach for America management and its teachers.” 

Come on, folks. There would be no TFA without charter schools who embraced them when no one else would and whose supporters paid for their placement and institutes. And scores of TFAers went on to start their own.

‘DA BRONX.  A Teach for America corps member was inspired by what she saw as the unbridled potential of charter schools to make a difference in the lives of children.  She helped to found Brilla Public Charter Schools which outperform schools in their local district, New York City and New York state in ELA and math. As with most charters, Brilla serves a student population weighted toward minority and economically disadvantaged populations. They are not part of the district, which would change if Elizabeth Warren and the unions had their way, which of course, would result in their demise.  While the home town Yanks weren’t winners this year, this network always is!  

LIZ WARREN NEEDS A REALITY CHECK.  She probably won’t get it by listening to Jeanne Allen’s weekly “Reality Check Podcast”, but you can! Jeanne’s two most recent guests will “feed your head” - hat tip to Grace Slick. Mike Feinberg is co-founder of the  Kipp Public Charter Schools, a national network of over 200 K12 public charter schools and now a school venture fund entrepreneur. You can also hear about the millions of options currently afforded students in this week’s discussion with Andrew Campanella, the dynamic president of National School Choice Week, and author of the soon-to-be released The National School Choice Roadmap - 7 steps to finding the right school for your child.   


 As always, please drop us a line, with any input and suggestions.  


Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.