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Newswire – March 3, 2020

MAKING SUPER TUESDAY SUPER. It’s that day when the citizens of 14 states begin to turn the presidential elections toward the more likely candidate. We remain deeply concerned for the Republic that discussing education — the critical link for our security and prosperity — is altogether missing in a substantive way from the campaign trail (as Jeanne opines this week in Forbes). Let’s make this Super Tuesday super again. Let’s use it to mark a departure from failure to address the most critical domestic policy issue of our time, to a full out debate about why we must accelerate transformational changes — today.

CHARTER SCHOOLS MAKE THE DEBATE. A bright spot in the Charleston Debate was when CBS News Anchor Bill Whitaker asked a question about a topic that had been ignored during the previous NINE debates: charter schools! (Whitaker also courageously mentioned how low South Carolina’s NAEP scores are — also a first for a presidential debate!)  The question was for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg about his long-time support, and whether he’d seek to expand charter schools nationwide. Sadly Bloomberg softened his stance saying “I’m not sure they’re appropriate every place.” Oh please.


@SAVECHARTERS MAKES THE EVENING NEWS. Hundreds of families seeking to protect the opportunity to choose charter schools rallied once again outside the debate, attracting the attention of candidates and the media.  The Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools made the evening news (Families & Activists Hold Rally Before Democratic Debate) and got motivated for their next round of actions to make candidates take notice of their cause.



POWERFUL PARENTS. Meanwhile, the #PowerfulParentNetwork has been on a Freedom Ride for Education Equity, and they visited all the candidates speaking on the ground in South Carolina.  Their delegation scored private meetings with Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.  They correctly observe that “being heard is the first step toward bringing change,” and that “easy promises are easily broken”.  This is not a group that is looking for easy promises, nor one that will take lightly promises that are easily broken. "They would do anything for their children.”

BERNIE BURNS.  During the group’s meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders, PPN’s amazing Sarah Carpenter (@LadyTenn) told him they wanted choices and quality schools. His advice to her was that the parents should “join the PTA”.  No really, that was his solution. Her immediate reaction to Sanders was not recorded but later to the press she put it perfectly; “When poor black and brown children’s lives are on the line, DON’T try to convince me that the PTA is the answer”.


HELLO? JOE? THEY ARE PUBLIC SCHOOLS!  We don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this item — though on second thought it’s too egregious to laugh at. The #PowerfulParentsNetwork attends a Biden speech and asks his views on charter schools. At about the 4 minute mark in this video he says he’s against them because “they take away resources from public schools.”  Joe, JOE, JOE! Repeat after us please — charter schools ARE public schools — just not the kind that are all managed in one centralized way, top down, with archaic rules and controlled not by parents and citizens but by government rules and regulations that the very people who work in them eschew. Do you get it now? If you’re going to be the front runner, facts are important.

ED TECH TO THE RESCUE? More than ever, students shouldn’t have to sacrifice their access to a great education, no matter what the situation. Online learning  already provides an opportunity for hundreds of thousands to be educated regardless of space and place and is poised to become even more useful for people everywhere.  This week Jamie Candee (@candeeJamie) of Edmentum joins Reality Check to discuss the way online learning may be more relevant and helpful than ever, innovative not only when it comes educating students in blended and online settings, but also during times of national crises and strife, like we’re facing with the CoronaVirus pandemic.  Tune in to learn how E-learning can be particularly important for kids with so many nations on high alert. And here’s a prediction — once this crisis has passed — many parents who were exposed for the first time to the convenience and quality available in E-learning will look to expand their students’ access to the concept even more.


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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