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Newswire – October 29, 2019

POST NAILS IT. If you’ve been following Senator Warren’s attack on education opportunity, you’ll want to read the Washington Post today. People from all sides agree that  "Children are the losers in Edlizabeth Warren's plan for charter schools".

Speaking of which, if you didn’t see our CEO’s Fox & Friends appearance on same, you’ll want to watch it now.

DC OPPORTUNITY CRISIS. Shouldn’t everyone know by now that when kids cannot learn, we have a crisis?  Join us in doing something about it. If you’re within the D.C. metro area on November 14th you’ll want to attend A Major Citywide Call to Action in Support of DC’s Public Charter Schools, brought to you by the D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools’ #EndtheList initiative and hundreds of schools, parents and DC leaders. The purpose is to open the doors and unlock opportunity for thousands of waitlisted families who could benefit from expanded offerings if the Mayor and city officials would just free up unused buildings. The first major coming together of all parties since the DC charter movement began, come hear charter school leaders, city officials, and special guests like Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu ('97–'15) and civil rights activist Dr. Howard Fuller. Where? Atrium Hall of the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, starting at 8:30 AM.  Rally round the flag of education opportunity. Be there.

STUDENT CONTEST.  More than $20,000 in prize money will be given out as part of the DC Public Charter School Student Excellence Competition held in conjunction with the above mentioned Call to Action. More than 100 students from 34 schools submitted artwork, essays, poems or music documenting what their charter school means to them. During the event, students will learn the winners, receive their prizes and their submissions will be on display at the Student Excellence Showcase. Additionally, a special cash award will go to the school with the largest number of attendees. Dozens of schools will be out in force to cheer on their friends. Join them. Charter schools can still RSVP to attend here. Buses provided for any school communities that need transportation.

IT’S NOT PROGRESSIVE TO PUNISH THE KIDS. Yet that is exactly what the Chicago Teachers' Union – “progressive” to a fault, and we do mean fault – is doing. As the strike nears the end of its second week, Chicago’s very progressive, pro-union Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her frustration that the CTU won't take "yes" for an answer. What gives? Under the city’s offer, the average Chicago teacher will see a $100,000 salary by the end of the contract’s lifespan. The deal breaker is the City’s contention that the CTU plan would cost the city $100 million that it doesn’t have. Meanwhile, Chicago’s 350,000 students fall further and further behind – apparently an unimportant afterthought to the CTU. All might want to read about the latest crisis resulting from overly-generous contracts agreed to under duress by school districts across the country that are causing hundreds of employee layoffs to keep the districts “solvent” – and then only in the most generous definition of that term.

NAEP RELEASE TOMORROW might give CTU pause to consider their stalling in accepting Mayor Lightfoot’s generous offer. The report on 2018 math and reading assessments from the “National Assessment of Educational Progress” (NAEP) on October 30th is likely to show declines in cities that have done nothing transformative to turn around failing schools.  The day-before-Halloween release might be apropos for this news, as the NAEP just delivers the hard facts of the progress, or lack thereof, for all states and most school districts and some of the results will most certainly be ghoulish.  CER’s rundown on prior year data is a handy review of what the NAEP covers and what the numbers mean. We’ll have a full NAEP rundown next week.

THE RIGHT WAY TO GET PERSONAL. Quick - what exactly does “personalized learning” mean?  Beyond the obvious that each child is an individual, how do educators get the most out of their students through such a regimen? What kind of person would write a “love letter to educators? Answers and many more insights for parents and students are discussed in this week’s Reality Check with Jeanne Allen podcast with guest Diane Tavenner, co-founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools.  You’ll find Diane’s insights engaging and thought provoking.


BLAINE BIGOTRY UPDATE.  Meet the xenophobe whose legacy will be reviewed for constitutionality (we think it’s not) in the Supreme Court this winter. A positive ruling in the case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenuewould invalidate the odious, anti-Catholic “Blaine Amendments” currently in effect in 37 states. We’re digging into the dark side of a man for whom the amendments are named. Republican James G. Blaine is best known for his campaign’s use of “rum, romanism and rebellion” to appeal to non-Catholic voters, as well as anti-Chinese immigration laws to appeal to xenophobes of all stripes. A political satire magazine of the time, “Puck” magazine illustrated Blaine’s pomposity in its cartoons many times. Take a peek at one of the best below.


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. We’re always delighted to hear from our readers...suggestions, questions and even the occasional complaint!