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Newswire – February 19, 2020



“The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.”    - George Washington

“Education is the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.”   - Abraham Lincoln


The week started with President’s Day, in honor of two of our most distinguished citizens — let alone Presidents. They both had strong opinions on the importance of education to the formation and preservation of our Republic. We’ll be picking their successor later this year,  but let’s honor them year round by keeping their ideals and sacrifices in mind.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES GAMBLE ON VEGAS.  The remaining Democrat candidates for President - former Vice President Joe Biden, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg along with Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren - will gather tonight for the latest debate but not before a vocal crowd of thousands of diverse families and students rally for the freedom to best direct their children’s education. Nevada charter school families and the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools are taking the choice of the next president seriously. They will be gathering at 4 pm just a few miles from the debate stage asking the critical question #WHATABOUTUS.  Join them on Twitter or  follow the action live on Facebook. For your own debate prep — or therapy afterwards — check out CER’s comprehensive Education 2020 website


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WHICH CANDIDATE SAID. “We showed that when charters are granted carefully, and overseen rigorously, results can be incredibly impressive among millions of kids, giving them the opportunity to succeed in life and pursue their dreams." (Read to the end to learn the answer!)

FREEDOM’S RING. After nearly 30 years of experience and data, the research just gets better. Which is why this pathbreaking report by Northwestern University scholar David Figlio documenting the power of choice to improve all schools where competition is fierce would give The Great Emancipator reason to cheer. 


WE CANNOT TELL A LIE. GEORGE WOULD LOVE OUR “WHY AMERICA” PROJECT.  Washington &  Lincoln knew that in the arc of history, the time had come for a country like America. CER is bringing these stories to life for DC area charter students through our “Why America?” project. DC students travel to landmarks and little-explored places of history in DC to learn why the Constitution exists, what it does, who manages it, who executes, who ensures its fidelity. Schools across the country can join in, too! Learn more about the details.


KENTUCKY IS THE REAL LAND OF LINCOLN. Illinois has the motto, but Honest Abe was born in Hogdenville, KY. But the “rail-splitter” would be disappointed in the lackadaisical attitude his home state’s politicians have toward education. Kentucky enacted the weakest of charter school laws in 2017, resulting in ZERO charter schools. Despite their impact in other states, lawmakers just couldn’t repel the status quo even though a rigorously researched and documented studyfinds that charters opened  just in the city of Louisville would reap “38 million in economic benefits from higher lifetime earnings associated with increases in academic achievement.” 

GEORGE AND ABE AND CHARTER SCHOOLS - THE GREAT DISRUPTERS. Like Washington (ask King George III) and Lincoln (ask Jefferson Davis), charter schools are also disrupting a dysfunctional and unjust status quo. Says a great piece in Reason Magazine, “The growth of choice has helped expose the realities and shortcomings of many traditional public school districts, such as how kids aren’t being funded equally, the financial fragilities of the district model, the lack of quality at some schools, and how different students need different environments to learn.”

JUSTICE IN COLORADO.  It’s hard to believe that Vega Collegiate Academy would have to fight for the right to continue successfully  serving some of the most economically distressed families in Aurora, Colorado.  Vega has proven that the kids attending its school, despite all the difficult challenges they face every day, can learn.  As you will see in this moving video,  parents who chose Vega for their kids continue to support the school, but the local Board of Education chose to ignore them and voted to close it.  Vega fought back and after a successful appeal to the State Board of Education was UNANIMOUSLY permitted to keep the school open. That’s a win to make the Father of Our Country smile, even through his wooden teeth.


ANSWER TO QUIZ.  Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  When he was mayor, minority students who attended charter schools performed better academically than their peers at traditional public schools.  Will he stand by his principles in the face of mob pressure to conform? Time will tell….

If you didn’t get to really celebrate Presidents’ Day this week, we hope you’ll find time to contemplate its meaning and purpose. But now it's back to work for you — and for us! If you’d like to find out more about us or help out, it’s as simple as visiting edreform.com


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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