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Newswire – February 11, 2020

In honor of St. Valentine, we’re sending hearts for love, but reserving darts for those who disappoint...

A SPECIAL VALENTINE. An Unfinished Journey; Education & The American Dream, by CER’s Founder and CEO Jeanne Allen. Inspired by love of country, her Italian heritage, and this nation’s ongoing quest to raise its children to aspire and achieve their greatest dreams, Unfinished Journey challenges us to think big about the education of our youth. Covering students, parents, politics, and culture, it gives the reader a “you are there” feel for the joys, heartbreaks, wins and losses that we’ve all experienced. As Jeanne writes, “We must not be still or silent when generations are at stake. And education — varied by person, location, needs, skills, and aspirations and not tied to any one approach, system, or agency — is the key.”  Get your copy today. 

400 MILLION LESS VALENTINES… appear in the Trump Education budget for charter schools. A typically choice-friendly Administration gets darts not hearts from us today for collapsing the charter grant program into a proposed “block grant” that would expect state education department bureaucracy to actually support and advance charter schools.  Read CER’s statement to understand the intricacies of this issue.


HEARTS, FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES TO OK GOV. The corn may be as high as an elephant's eye, but that hasn’t obscured Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s vision. His newly released budget calls on the state to “raise the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit cap from $5 million to $30 million. We believe the time has come to provide this opportunity, funded by generous Oklahomans, to even more students.” As we sharpen our analysis of Governors for CER’s voter guide this fall, we’ll be looking to see who can follow Stitt’s example of putting education for all his state’s kids #1 on the “to do” list — the “Sooner” the better.

SHOWING SOME LOVE IN CALIFORNIA.   In a state whose politics at the moment currently waver between suspicion and open hostility to school innovation and opportunity – California – parents, students and educators focused on education excellence for all kids got some attention and affection. The Santa Clara County Board of Education voted to approve renewal of the charter for Cornerstone Academy in San Jose. The Board had initially disapproved renewal, even though Cornerstone was the highest performing charter school in San Jose and was named a California Distinguished School.  A hat tip to the board members with the fortitude to do the right thing and reverse their previous decision.  Have a couple of candy hearts on us.

WARM HEARTS. From a parent and member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe comes a report about how Arizona micro-schools and more school choice helps tribal children succeed, with evidence of how much love is reaching many remote communities, Native American and otherwise. “Micro schools” consist of a small number of students, say 10 - 30, who vary in age and grade meeting each day, setting individual goals, and collaborating on activities and creative projects. Students focus on academics but are able to move at their own pace. Learning adapting to the specific needs of specific student populations — the very core of school choice.

DARTS TO THE FL BLOB. Florida’s education mafia used intimidation tactics to force companies to stop contributing critical funds to the state’s highly successful tax credit scholarship program which gives thousands of low income kids the chance to a bright future. While anti-choice unions succeeded in getting Florida’s Fifth Third Bank to stop funding the program, cooler heads and warm, clear facts — from Florida African American Ministers for Parental Choice among others — got Fifth Third to reverse its decision and continue to fund the program.  Another encouraging sign of increased visibility by minority communities in fighting back for education excellence.

LITTLE LOVE IN TENNESSEE. Tennessee’s new education choice program is aimed specifically at helping kids in the state’s two largest counties escape under-performing public schools but that doesn’t keep the status quo from suing to stop the voucher program from helping the kids who need help the most.

CHOCOLATE FOR THE MIND. We’re honored that “Reality Check” with CER Founder & CEO Jeanne Allen and co-host Michael Musante has been named as  one of the best educational podcasts  by San Antonio, TX Charter Moms. As they say, Reality Check “puts issues in their political context and presents a vision of what American schools can become.” Thanks Charter Moms! If you haven’t tuned in lately, take a look at Jeanne and Michael’s recent line-up of impressive guests.

AMORE & INNOVATION IN THE LAND OF VALENTINE. Okay,  admit it, you didn’t know that the original St. Valentine was Italian. Certo, e vero! Learn about the first-ever U.S. Italia Education Innovation Festival April 27 - 29 in Ercolano, Italia.  The conference will have a concentration on innovations and technologies that amplify, engage and educate the world's students in the arts and sciences. You will be treated to exceptional speakers and cutting edge ideas from both countries — not to mention beautiful surroundings and Italian cuisine.  

Love makes the world go round — not in “join hands and sing kumbaya” sense, but in caring for each other, being kind and observing the Golden Rule on a daily basis. We hope that this Valentine’s day is full of this kind of love for you, as well as the requisite supply of sweets.

If you’d like to show us some love,

And please designate The Center for Education Reform as your charity when shopping through  AmazonSmile .


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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