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Newswire – June 23, 2020

THE HOT SUMMER IS HERE – so is cold, hard cash for your students. The Espinoza – “Blaine” clock continues to tick on the SCOTUS decision, another special graduation story and exciting happenings in Vermont.

$45,000 “WITH JUSTICE FOR ALL” SCHOLARSHIP. The Center for Education Reform (CER), in partnership with the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, this week launched the #MyEducationVideo contest: “With Justice for All,” a national YouTube contest for students. We’re asking students (13 and older ) whether their school has delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times. Tell us how well your school did — or didn’t do — in providing you a great education.  Videos must be shorter than three minutes, hashtagged with #MyEducationVideo, and submitted to MyEducationVideo.com by 11:59 PM EDT on July 24, 2020.

INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP SCHOOL OF TEXAS is planning a full graduation ceremony in mid-July, but in the meantime decided to do a bit of early celebrating. A parade of cars departed International Leadership Texas Arlington-Grand Prairie High School to congratulate its valedictorian and salutatorian in person on their academic achievement. The parade, led by the school’s principal, Quentyn Seamster, worked its way through town to both students’ homes to surprise them and inform them of the distinction.

MISSED ANY OF OUR ACTION SERIES on how COVID is reshaping education and how we make sure education at all levels moves forward not back?  Read The Future of Schools, CER’s report setting a new course for education. Listen to Reality Check with Jeanne Allen. Or watch any of our 10 events with leaders on the frontline of helping schools navigate the COVID landscape.

A NEW COLLEGE is on the horizon for some fortunate students thanks to an exciting new venture from Seth Andrews, the visionary Founder and President of Democracy Builders. Degrees of Freedom is an early college, late high school program that offers a fully-funded, flexible and career targeted degree to students in grades 11 – 14 who are low income and the first in their families to attend college. After two years of purposeful course work and compensated internships students will have the skills and knowledge to begin their careers or pursue further education.  And they will be surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, as “Degrees” is buying Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. Learn more from Seth’s interview this week.

COUNTDOWN TO SUPREME COURT DECISION. Even a casual reader of these Newswires will be familiar with the Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue case, dealing with the odious, bigoted “Blaine Amendments” still existing in 37 state constitutions. The Supreme Court has only until the end of June to publish its decisions – 7 more days. We will provide full coverage, analysis and “where do we go from here” once the decision is published.

A WELL DESERVED HUZZAH for CER favorite, parent power fighter and civil rights hero Dr. Howard Fuller (@HowardLFuller) with the announcement that he is retiring after decades at Marquette University, where he served as distinguished professor of education and founder and director of its Institute for the Transformation of Learning. He has resigned from all boards on which he served, other than that of the charter school he founded, Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy. Dr. Fuller is a legend and his accomplishments are legion. While lightening the load a bit he is staying involved, which is great news for all interested in excellence and innovation in education. Will have much more to offer in the coming days but until then, a huge THANK YOU from all the people whose lives you’ve empowered and enriched by your actions and leadership, among those, ours.

PROTECTING BAD APPLES at the expense of a vast majority of good employees has been in the news of late – focused on law enforcement.  Police unions don’t have a monopoly on shielding very bad characters from discipline, as cogently explained in Defund the police?  How about defunding the teachers unions?  Worth your time reading it.

Billie Holiday famously sang “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Sadly this summertime may be bereft of a lot of easy living, but our wish for you is an overabundance of such living, and a chance to recharge your batteries at least a bit.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can be of help to you and your work.

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. We’re always delighted to hear from our readers…suggestions, questions and even the occasional complaint!