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Newswire – January 28, 2020

What’s Inside: Parents - and their power — are front and center as of late, from the august chambers of the Supreme Court to the streets of the Big Easy, and throughout the country this week, with over 50,000 local events for National School Choice Weekbeing held. Catch up on nationwide Parent Power efforts here!

FREE AT LAST?  Just days after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the most important education related court case in 50 years, Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, was heard in the Supreme Court on January 22nd. Not since the landmark Brown v. Board of Education has a case been so clearly focused on ending discrimination in education. At issue is the rights of parents to direct the education of their children. Learn about it in CER’s "Amicus Brief," or for shorter summaries, check out this edition of "Fox and Friends,"  Time and the Washington Post’s excellent explanation. Or listen to lead plaintiff Kendra Espinoza discuss the stakes and the long journey that brought her to the Supreme Court on Reality Check. There’s just too many sources of information out there for you and everyone you know not to be well schooled about this important case.  Be sure to visit the CER "Blaine on Trial" webpage for all you need to know, leading up to the Justices’ likely decision in June.

PARENTS UNION?  Move over AFT, you just got first your real competitor. The National Parents Union (NPU) (@NationalParents) launched in New Orleans, LA in 2012, a result of “two Latina mothers from opposite sides of the country [who] joined forces to form their own union to disrupt an education agenda they say is pushing out parents like them and, more importantly, leaving behind poor students and students of color.”  We salute these courageous women, Keri Rodrigues and Alma Marquez, who self-funded NPU  for two years before getting their first grant. It will be hard for the unions to make their usual "anti-union" smear stick with NPU, as Rodrigues worked for the Service Employees International Union SEIU, and has the support of its leadership.

JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.  Much of the rest of the education opportunity and choice sectors are making noise this School Choice Week, January 26 to February 1. This year’s celebration will see 25,000 schools involved and an astounding 51,000 independently organized events before the week is over.  For those of you interested in dusting off your dancing shoes, here’s the official school choice week dance tutorial. Hint – you’ll want to limber up first! Visit the Choice Week website above to find events in your area and make a point of attending. You’ll learn — and be inspired — by the energy our movement continues to generate.

DON’T DANCE? LISTEN AND LEARN!  If your twinkle-toes days are past, we have a less stressful exercise. Listen to School Choice Week president and foundation Andrew Campanella, (@andrewrcamp)  (another CER alum!) in Jeanne’s interview with him on Reality Check. Campanella talks about his journey to the choice movement, and why he is optimistic about the future of education in America. He also previews his just published book The School Choice Roadmap - 7 Steps To Finding The Right School For Your Child.

NEW JEWEL IN QUEEN CITY.   From Cincinnati, the Queen City, comes an exciting grace note for School Choice Week.  Seton Education Partners, which seeks to revitalize urban Catholic education, focusing on underserved, largely African-American and Hispanic children, is launching Romero Academy at Resurrection in Cincinnati’s Price Hill neighborhood this August.  Best of luck to Seton as they provide more choices- and more quality education-for kids.

CANDIDATES ECHO SOUNDS OF SILENCE...AGAIN.   Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is all over the news for failing to acknowledge an innovative charter school in South Bend, IN, the city Pete lead until just recently.  We suppose his silence is not surprising, given the fear of Pete and most of his fellow candidates of even the slightest deviation from the NEA’s anti-charter song book. South Bend’s parents know the truth however, which is why fully one-third of the city’s students opt out of the city’s public schools, attending either public schools outside South Bend or private schools or charters. Buttigeig knows the advantages that choice provides — he attended a private high school himself. As the Wall Street Journal comments; “Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear a Democratic candidate make the case for a charter school in his hometown that aims to bring similar educational opportunities to the Black and Latino children who don’t enjoy the advantages that he had?” (We’d add, particularly when one of his biggest supporters, Netflix Founder & CEO Reed Hastings, is a dedicated charter school supporter.)

A SWIFT IDEA.  You’d think that after being Governor of Massachusetts you’d want to take some time off and enjoy the remarkable charms of the state’s coast and beaches — true confession, as we do. Not if you’re Jane Swift. Governor Swift sat down with Jeanne Allen in our latest "Reality Check" podcast. Swift is President and Executive Director of LearnLaunch, an edtech innovation hub that connects innovators to emerging trends, and drives the development of high-quality educational opportunities for learners of all ages. The LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference, New England’s premier education event, will convene for its 8th annual gathering in Boston on Jan. 30-31. With more than 1,500 in attendance, the program will highlight innovations across the education sector.

ITALY & EdTECH? ANDIAMO! CER is proud to present with Stoà, the most important and historic management school in the South of Italy, The U.S.–Italia Education Innovation Festival, April 27–29, 2020, in Ercolano, Italy, steps from Pompeii and overlooking the Bay of Naples. This will be the first global Ed Tech event in Italy, with a concentration on innovations and technologies that amplify, engage and educate the world’s students in the arts and sciences.  Our focus will be on exploring, uncovering and connecting with technologies and innovative practices already being increasingly applied across the globe to learning, teaching, and in the workforce, bringing us each day more quickly than the last into the 21st Century. Together, we will move from early education, through K–12 and Higher Ed and across the Workforce, breaking up the silos to build continuum of education models that cut through all levels of education, preparing us for work, life and explosive change–across the globe.  Visit our website to learn more and register to attend and gather with the experts, investors, entrepreneurs and start-ups from one of the world’s most beautiful, culturally rich, scientifically pioneering countries in the world.


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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