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Newswire – January 7, 2020

(CNS photo/Jim Judkis, Focus Features)

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN ALL NEIGHBORHOODS.  "Can Mr. Rogers nostalgia help cure today's culture"?  Erica Komisar, a psychoanalyst in New York City thinks yes, it can.  “Rogers rejected the old-fashioned idea that children are to be seen and not heard. He believed adults should lead them with love and understanding, not fear and punishment.” Closely related to the potential for an overturned Blaine Amendment to provide access for parents to enroll their students in religious schools if they so desire, the independent Komisar makes a compelling case on why religious faith is the underpinning of much successful child-rearing and educational success. An important read.

WHAT WE’RE READING TODAY.  An alarming article from the Associated Press that some think high school is enough.  Meanwhile employers want students to have more training… and the options are plentiful, but are they enough? Finally, the cause for equity and justice gets a boost from Washington, where poor kids are given another few years to enjoy attending the kinds of private schools that many of us reading can already afford.

AND THEY’RE OFF!  It’s the start of another Presidential Derby.  And there’s no need to peruse dozens of websites, blogs, columns, harangues, etc., to find out where education opportunity and choice stand in the race at the moment.  CER’s new Education 2020 section lays it out for you.  While most of the current candidates defy the polls of Democratic voters on expanding education reforms, Michael Bloomberg could throw a wrench into the engine as he is an unapologetic supporter of educational opportunity and choice for kids currently trapped in failing schools. It’s gonna be a heckuva horse race!

A SCOTUS CASE 144 YEARS IN THE MAKING.  The day is near for the most important education related Supreme Court case in 50 years. Be prepared by  tuning into Jeanne's interview with Kendra Espinoza, lead plaintiff in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, to be heard by the nation’s highest court on January 22. A win for Espinoza would strike down the bigoted Blaine Amendments that currently exist in 37 states’ constitutions and deny kids attending private schools equal access to state education funds.

Kendra Espinoza was a single mother of two young girls when fate — and the Montana Supreme Court — propelled her into this legal fight to strike down religious exceptions to equal access to state education funds for Montana’s kids. You will be impressed, and maybe a little awed, by this story of determination and courage. Don’t miss this inside look at history in the making.

BE BRAVE, BE BOLD, BE INSPIRED.  That is the motto of the movie "Miss Virginia", which is being screened nationally from January 20th to the 31st. Based on the life and struggle for education excellence for disadvantaged kids of  CER pal Virginia Walden Ford, this exceptional movie stars Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine, Vanessa Williams and Niles Fitch. The screening locations and times for this exceptional tale of perseverance and courage can be found here. We don’t know if you’ll be brave or bold after seeing it — but do yourself — and your kids — a favor and go see it. You and they will be inspired.

GOOD NIGHT, SWEET PRINCE. A sad note from St. Paul, Minnesota.  Civil rights legend and education pioneer Bill Wilson went to his great reward just before New Year's Day. Overcoming being raised in an orphanage, Wilson was the first African American elected to the St. Paul City Council, and founder/executive director of Higher Ground Academy, a St. Paul charter school that won many local state and national awards for its success with low income students of color. Hundreds of St. Paul kids have brighter futures because of Bill Wilson’s vision and courage. To quote the last lines of “Hamlet”, good night sweet prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.  HT to Joe Nathan for sharing… praying that his example reaches the presidential candidates sometime soon!

(New Harmony High School)

(Diana Solis)

TO CLOSE ON A HAPPY NOTE. Happy news from New OrleansNew Harmony High School which is diversifyingeducation for kids who not only take traditional classes in math, literature and history but courses to help them tackle environmental and coastal erosion issues exceptionally relevant to Louisiana.  And about 500 miles to the east,Charleston Acceleration Academy offers previously failed studentsa second chance at a diploma. As one student put it, “Charleston Acceleration Academy has been absolutely life-changing”. And there you have it — two vignettes of two very different schools that are giving life-changing opportunities — you might even say choice — to two very different sets of kids. It’s what choice is all about.

(CNS photo/Jim Judkis, Focus Features)

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN ALL NEIGHBORHOODS.  "Can Mr. Rogers nostalgia help cure today's culture"?  Erica Komisar, a psychoanalyst in New York City thinks yes, it can.  “Rogers rejected the old-fashioned idea that children are to be seen and not heard. He believed adults should lead them with love and understanding, not fear and punishment.” Closely related to the potential for an overturned Blaine Amendment to provide access for parents to enroll their students in religious schools if they so desire, the independent Komisar makes a compelling case on why religious faith is the underpinning of much successful child-rearing and educational success. An important read.

WHAT WE’RE READING TODAY.  An alarming article from the Associated Press that some think high school is enough.  Meanwhile employers want students to have more training… and the options are plentiful, but are they enough? Finally, the cause for equity and justice gets a boost from Washington, where poor kids are given another few years to enjoy attending the kinds of private schools that many of us reading can already afford.

AND THEY’RE OFF!  It’s the start of another Presidential Derby.  And there’s no need to peruse dozens of websites, blogs, columns, harangues, etc., to find out where education opportunity and choice stand in the race at the moment.  CER’s new Education 2020 section lays it out for you.  While most of the current candidates defy the polls of Democratic voters on expanding education reforms, Michael Bloomberg could throw a wrench into the engine as he is an unapologetic supporter of educational opportunity and choice for kids currently trapped in failing schools. It’s gonna be a heckuva horse race!

A SCOTUS CASE 144 YEARS IN THE MAKING.  The day is near for the most important education related Supreme Court case in 50 years. Be prepared by  tuning into Jeanne's interview with Kendra Espinoza, lead plaintiff in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, to be heard by the nation’s highest court on January 22. A win for Espinoza would strike down the bigoted Blaine Amendments that currently exist in 37 states’ constitutions and deny kids attending private schools equal access to state education funds.

Kendra Espinoza was a single mother of two young girls when fate — and the Montana Supreme Court — propelled her into this legal fight to strike down religious exceptions to equal access to state education funds for Montana’s kids. You will be impressed, and maybe a little awed, by this story of determination and courage. Don’t miss this inside look at history in the making.

BE BRAVE, BE BOLD, BE INSPIRED.  That is the motto of the movie "Miss Virginia", which is being screened nationally from January 20th to the 31st. Based on the life and struggle for education excellence for disadvantaged kids of  CER pal Virginia Walden Ford, this exceptional movie stars Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine, Vanessa Williams and Niles Fitch. The screening locations and times for this exceptional tale of perseverance and courage can be found here. We don’t know if you’ll be brave or bold after seeing it — but do yourself — and your kids — a favor and go see it. You and they will be inspired.

GOOD NIGHT, SWEET PRINCE. A sad note from St. Paul, Minnesota.  Civil rights legend and education pioneer Bill Wilson went to his great reward just before New Year's Day. Overcoming being raised in an orphanage, Wilson was the first African American elected to the St. Paul City Council, and founder/executive director of Higher Ground Academy, a St. Paul charter school that won many local state and national awards for its success with low income students of color. Hundreds of St. Paul kids have brighter futures because of Bill Wilson’s vision and courage. To quote the last lines of “Hamlet”, good night sweet prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.  HT to Joe Nathan for sharing… praying that his example reaches the presidential candidates sometime soon!

(New Harmony High School)

(Diana Solis)

TO CLOSE ON A HAPPY NOTE. Happy news from New OrleansNew Harmony High School which is diversifyingeducation for kids who not only take traditional classes in math, literature and history but courses to help them tackle environmental and coastal erosion issues exceptionally relevant to Louisiana.  And about 500 miles to the east,Charleston Acceleration Academy offers previously failed studentsa second chance at a diploma. As one student put it, “Charleston Acceleration Academy has been absolutely life-changing”. And there you have it — two vignettes of two very different schools that are giving life-changing opportunities — you might even say choice — to two very different sets of kids. It’s what choice is all about.

 


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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