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Democratic Candidates Asked to Listen to Voices of Struggling Parents Following Them Across Nation

Minority parents, advocates, and school leaders demand an answer to #WhatAboutUs?

As the seven leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination gather for the debate in Los Angeles, charter school parents, advocates, and leaders from throughout the country are calling on the debate moderators and the candidates to give education opportunity the attention it demands.

With signs and placards asking #WhatAboutUs?, #PowerfulParentNetwork and #SaveCharters, parents of Latino and African-American students and education reform advocates are on their way to the sixth presidential debate, their third effort to draw attention to the most critical issue facing America’s youth: the quality of their education.

“That out of six months, six stages, and 11 hours of presidential debating only 18 minutes so far have focused on education is irresponsible for people aspiring to be the leader of the free world,” said CER’s Founder & CEO Jeanne Allen. “Not only have they ignored this critical issue, but when they have talked about education, it’s been focused on saving a failing system rather than giving parents the power to drive their own children’s education.”

“This isn’t progressive,” Allen added. “It’s retrogressive.”

As American students continue to fall behind in core subjects, leaving the nation’s fiercest global competitors to continue beating us in education, the presidential candidates and the media are being urged to focus on solutions to transform education outcomes. The thousands of voices that will raise awareness of the need for an education transformation during the Los Angeles debate represent millions who want to protect and expand charter schools, education scholarships, and numerous other opportunities to drive their own education.

For more information on the upcoming rally, its goals, and the organizing entity, the Freedom Coalition for Charters, click here.


  • U.S. math performance is below the international average. According to the results of the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the U.S. ranks 36th out of the 79 countries and regions that participate in the test. U.S. achievement in general is flat (or lower) since 2000 and significantly behind China and elsewhere. A snapshot of overall worldwide student performance can be viewed here.
  • From U.S. News & World Report: “The results largely mirror the top-line findings in the most recent results from the National Assessment of Education Progress, also known as NAEP or the Nation's Report Card, which last month showed math and reading scores dropping for fourth- and eighth-grade students in the U.S.”
  • Earlier this fall, it was revealed that high school ACT scores have dropped nationally and that college readiness rates in math and English are at record lows.



Since this past summer, charter school advocates – including parents, teachers, and students – have rallied their voices before major debates and events to increase awareness of the need for education innovation and opportunity and to facilitate a productive dialogue between presidential candidates and elected officials.



Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform started with a simple premise—to achieve excellence in education. The first laws supporting charter schools, school choice offerings and even state standards were owing to CER’s leadership.

Today CER works to bring about every opportunity possible to expose learners at all levels, from K through Career, to the best innovations America can provide, a goal we know from our history is boundless.