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Newswire – January14, 2020


In brief, what you need to know about Mrs. Robinson’s "candidate debate" tonight in Des Moines, the latest candidate positions, the upcoming US Supreme Court case and teacher ed… all in your favorite weekly report from CER - Newswire!

EYE ON IOWA. The remaining Democratic candidates gather tonight in Des Moines, Iowa for the last debate before the caucuses in the Hawkeye State. Look for talk of “free money,” for college and debt relief, with Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing she will bypass Congress to cancel 95% of student debt if elected. (Darn why the heck did we pay ourselves??!) And just in time for tonight’s cattle call, Senator Bernie Sanders can moo about his big union endorsement by the Clark County (Las Vegas) Education Association, which with 19,000 members is the 800 lb gorilla of Nevada politics.


NO FLIP FLOP GOES UNPUNISHED. Many once hopeful education reformers thought Cory Booker would boldly defend his long term support for educational freedom, excellence and other attempts to unfurl students from the status quo. But before the cock could crow in Iowa, Booker instead denied three times his support, then tried to walk it back, and despite it all, he never had a chance at the union endorsement. So yesterday he ended his presidential campaign. His story is a pity. As Mayor of Newark and Senator he was a consistent supporter of charter schools, and the children of Newark are better off because of his willingness to put quality education ahead of teacher union rhetoric, until recently, which cost him dearly with rank and file voters. You might say no flip-flop goes unpunished. Or as Hamlet almost said, “Alas, poor Cory, we knew him well”. Fingers crossed that he now feels free to return to his support of real education reform.

THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL TREATMENT. One would think that the candidates might attempt to focus on the most important domestic policy issue of our time. But amidst the 6 debates, 15 hours, and 900 minutes, the total time spent discussing education was 21 minutes, or two and a half percent. Jeanne Allen’s new column in Forbes goes into detail as to why for education, silence is not golden — it’s deadly.

ENTER MAYOR MIKE. Bloomberg, that is. Could he shake up the field with his unencumbered support for charter schools, teacher quality efforts, and more? With his new promise to “absolutely promote charter schools,” the 2020 race could at least stand to benefit from more focus on education issues.


A UNIQUE NBA SCORE. From the basketball court to the battle for opportunity and choice in education, meet a true superstar in former NBA basketball great and ESPN talk show host Jalen Rose, (@JalenRose), this week’s guest on Reality Check podcast. Rose is a star for kids too. The Founder and Chairman of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy charter high school in his hometown of Detroit, MI has one hundred percent of graduates going onto college and post-secondary educational opportunities. Jalen Rose is full of hope, and optimism, and passion (and a few choice words of advice for policymakers). His enthusiasm is infectious, and you will catch it when you listen in on this conversation.

 “MASTER'S OF NONE. Teachers across the country earn grad degrees to get raises. Turns out those degrees don’t improve student learning—they just fatten universities’ bottom lines.”

If the title and the subtitle weren’t enough, you’ll want to read this expose — which validates the sense of so many — about masters of education programs and calls for rerouting the millions spent annually to teachers' salaries instead. Reminiscent of Rita Kramer’s Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America’s Teachers — which was actually endorsed by none other than Diane Ravitch!—this article could help finally bring a boost to teacher professionalism.

BLAINE ON TRIAL. Nearly a week away on January 22, the Supreme Court will hear the Espinoza v. Montana case that would overturn the bigoted “Blaine Amendments” which are currently the law in 37 states. Follow the countdown here and get caught up on what’s at stake with our Attorney, Paul Clement, a partner at Kirkland and Ellis, former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia and former U.S. Solicitor General who authored our unique Amicus Brief. This special reprise edition of Reality Check breaks down what you need to know to be informed about the most important education case in over 50 years. Watch for more next week.


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. 
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