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Stories & Anecdotes

“A Private Matter” WI Court Restricts School Choice Growth In Milwaukee (NBC Nightly News, 1990)

The WI school choice program, one of the first choice programs in the nation, allowed 400 Milwaukee students to use school vouchers to attend a private school free of charge. Even with the number of federal education officials backing school choice on the rise, its enactment was ruled unconstitutional in a WI court in 1990. […]


A Charter School Law For Maryland (Fox 45, 2003)

Fox 45 Baltimore provides coverage of Maryland’s new law recognizing Charter Schools, the difficulties and potential effectiveness and then-Superintendent Nancy Grasmick sheds light on the difficulties in starting charter schools, namely, finding proper and working facilities for classrooms.

Advice To WI Parents: How To Improve Your Child’s School (PRESS, 2001)

Leah Vukmir, President and Founder of Parents Raising Educational Standards In Schools (PRESS), helps parents become better informed of the education their child receives, from understanding the issues to organizing community committees.

American Education Standards A Threat To Nation? (NewsTalkTV, 1995)

Patrick Halpin hosts CER’s Jeanne Allen & Michael Cohen, Special Advisor to the US Secretary of Education under “Goals 2000” in discussing and answering several callers’ questions regarding the falling American educational standards, the mass exodus of teachers from the public school system and the rise of crime in student life & in and out […]

Arthur Levine: Why I’m Reluctantly Backing Vouchers (1998)

June 15, 1998.  President of Teachers College, Columbia University explains in the Wall Street Journal why he is no longer opposed to school vouchers.


Budget Cuts and Charter Schools (2004)

South Carolina charter schools like Midland Valley Preparatory were prematurely effected by state budget cuts even though they should not have been.


CER President Kara Kerwin – The American Education Crisis (2014)

CER President Kara Kerwin discusses the education crisis in America and the need for reform to the current establishment.

CER Salutes Howard Fuller, Nation’s Unsung Education Reform Heroes (1998)

The Center for Education Reform honors Howard Fuller, Founder and Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning, as one of six distinguished heroes in education reform at its 5th Anniversary Gala Celebration on October 28,1998 in Washington, DC. Dr. Howard Fuller’s career includes many years in both public service positions and the field […]

CER User Query 2009

An inquiry regarding NCLB and school and parent choice.

CER: Analysis and Strategies for School Choice (1996)

January 11, 1996. Internal research from the Center for Education Reform reviewing viable opportunities for school choice across the States.

Change In The Public Education System: For Better Or Worse? (Charlie Rose, 1995)

With the growing number of charter schools and early school choice programs such as vouchers and opportunity scholarships across the nation, education experts Jeanne Allen and Chester Finn discuss alternative methods and how reform will impact the public school system itself. Charlie Rose explores success and failure in implementations of education reform, and looks at […]

Charter School Research On TV (1999)

January 7, 1999. The following is in response to the results of a charter school study released by Minnesota’s Office of Educational Accountability.

Charter School Success at The Vaughn School

Dr. Yvonne Chan’s successful Los Angeles charter school, the Vaughn School (Next Century Learning Center), serves as an example to the power of autonomy in schools. Dr. Chan, along with Vaughn parents and teachers talk about why their school is performing.

Charter School Support Grows Among Americans, Clinton (ABC, 1998)

As national support for charter schools increases across the states, including President Clinton releasing a message in support of the alternative schooling, UCLA releases a negative report on charter school benefit and progress. Jeanne Allen appears on Good Morning America to rebut the study in support of education reform.

Charter Schools That Work (PBS, 2000)

Learn about the beginnings of the revolutionary edreform movement through the lens of success in some of the early charter schools of the nation.

Charters, Magnets and Choice: Expanding Options for America’s Parents (2002)

Gene Hicock hosts a U.S. Department of Education production titled Charters, Magnets and Choice: Expanding Options for America’s Parents. Jeanne Allen of CER and others, including Rod Paige, then-U.S. Secretary of Education, discuss options for parents during a satellite town meeting in Washington D.C.

Clint Bolick on K-12 Education Reform (1995)

Clint Bolick speaks to Empower America and The Center for Education Reform in 1995.

CNN Greenfield At Large – Student Performance and Grade Expectations

CNN explores progress of new policies based on improving student performance and grade expectations around the country. Robert Chase, Jeanne Allen, and James Verilli debate what and how much we should ask of our schools to increase student performance. 8/28/01

Compassionate Conservative Agenda 2002

President George W. Bush Highlights Compassionate Conservative Agenda for Inner Cities


Discussing Americans’ Support For School Choice (MSNBC, 1999)

Jeanne Allen and Gerald Tirozzi, Executive Director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals discuss Americans’ satisfaction with their public schools and the increasing number of Americans in support of school choice, namely Florida’s growing voucher program.

Dr. Howard Fuller – “The Case For Radical Reform”

The following remarks were made by Dr. Howard Fuller, founder of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, during the opening session of the Center for Education Reform’s Fifth Anniversary Celebration — American Education: The Next 15 Years on October 28, 1998 in Washington, D.C. …I want to make eight points for […]


Education in America: A Public Right Gone Wrong? (PBS, 2000)

Larry Elder hosts a discussion on what is wrong with the American school system and what can be done to change it. Education reform pioneers including Jeanne Allen of CER and Clint Bolick, among others, discuss alternative methods of education and solutions to the failing system.


First-Hand Accounts of the Charter Schools of the Year (2007)

On May 16,2007, The Center for Education Reform (CER) honored 53 of the nation’s best charter schools as part of its National Charter School of the Year program.

Freedom To Choose: How School Choice Revitalized Education In An American City (2002)

A case study of the positive effects of school choice on Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sponsored by the American Education Reform Council. With commentary from Spence Korte, Ph.D. — Former Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools, Howard Fuller, Ph.D. — Former Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools, John Norquist — (former) Mayor of Milwaukee, Caroline Hoxby, Ph.D. — Professor of Economics, […]


Grading U.S. Schools On The Education Reform Curve (NBC Today, 1997)

CER Founder Jeanne Allen and Walter Farrell of the University of Wisconsin discuss education reforms that aim to improve the grade Americans give U.S. Schools and successes in school voucher programs across the nation, including Milwaukee’s growing program.


Illiteracy in America’s Schools & The NEA Agenda (O’Reilly Factor, 2001)

CER Founder Jeanne Allen and Boston radio-host Nancy Skinner discuss the controversy surrounding the NEA convention and the larger National Education Association agenda, including the organization’s resistance to education reform across the country.

In PA, Demand For School Choice (REACH Alliance, 1994)

CER Founder Jeanne Allen gives the opening remarks at a REACH Alliance (Road to Educational Achievement Through Choice) 1994 conference on school choice and education reform in Pennsylvania and around the country. Calling on all legislators and Americans everywhere to recognize the growing number of parents looking for better and more options for their children’s […]

Investing in Education

Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (1989 State of the State address to the WI legislature) In his 1989 State of the State speech, Governor Tommy Thompson laid out some of his initial plans for welfare reform and school choice, two hallmark programs of his administration (excerpt): Investing in Education: “Choice” When we talk about investing in […]


Jeanne Allen and Paul Houston on the Washington Journal (C-SPAN, 2001)

Center for Education Reform founder Jeanne Allen and American Association of School Administrators Executive Director Paul Houston discuss testing and accountability in schools- President Bush’s planned national education overhaul and the No Child Left Behind Act would increase testing and hold teachers more accountable for results in the classroom.


LA Senate Bill Would Regulate Student Conduct In Public Schools (MSNBC, 1999)

Jeanne Allen and Charles Hudson of the Louisiana State Senate give commentary to a proposed LA law that would establish rules for the way public school students address their teachers and classmates in the classroom.

Leah Vukmir at CER’s 5th, A Salute to the Nation’s Unsung Education Heroes

The Center for Education Reform honors Leah Vukmir as one of six distinguished heroes in education reform at CER’s 5th Anniversary Celebration on October 28,1998 in Washington, DC. Leah Vukmir has spent her entire career serving the needs of children and families. Her extensive and varied professional activities have focused on children’s health issues as […]


Merit Pay For Teachers Takes Center Stage: Unions, Candidates Weigh In (CNN, 2000)

As some states begin to implement systems of performance-based compensation for teachers, such as merit pay or teacher bonuses, educators, along with the National Education Association, among other national teachers’ unions, express opposition to the idea, worried of the competition it might bring and skeptical of the difficulty that would come with creating fair standards. […]

Mike McKeown and Paul Clopton of Mathematically Correct at CER’s 5th

The Center for Education Reform honors Paul Clopton and Mike McKeown, founders of Mathematically Correct!, as distinguished heroes in education reform at its 5th Anniversary Gala Celebration on October 28, 1998 in Washington, DC. Clopton & McKeown became active in K-12 mathematics education in reaction to the experience of their respective children in public schools. […]

Morris School District Wastes $27,000 (1998)

December 13, 1998. A concerned New Jersey parent writes a letter to the editor about the Morris school district spending money fighting a charter school instead of using that money on reading programs.


Opening the Door to School Choice in Wisconsin: Marquette Law Review (1998)

Marquette Law Review, 1998 (Vol. 81). The history of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program through the litigation it encountered and lived with the first decade of its existence. Read with Tommy Thompson’s 1989 State of the State Address, “Investing In Education”


Pell Grants For K-12 Students? (C-SPAN, 2008)

Center for Education Reform founder Jeanne Allen and Mark Egan of the Nation School Boards Association discuss Pell grants for K-12 students in failing and under-performing schools. The proposed plan would allow students with a grant to attend a private school that they choose.

Politics, Markets & America’s Schools

June 8th, 1990 Participants in a forum discussed a report released today on the success of educational reform efforts and a proposal to allow public schools to structure their own programs and to allow parents and students the choice to select either public or private schools in any district.

Public Schools Partner With Private Companies, Perform (CNBC, 1994)

In Hartford, CT, the city Board of Education granted private companies the control of public schools as autonomous, self-run institutions in 1994. Opposition among parents and teachers was strong. Jeanne Allen appears on Business Insider with Neil Cavuto to make comments on the benefit of public schools’ partnering with private companies.


Reading, Writing, Recession – President Obama Addresses The Nation On Education (CNN, 2009)

With students’ test scores, as well as national proficiency in reading and writing on the decline, President Obama addresses the Nation for the first time in his term on education, encouraging students everywhere to work harder and outlining his plan for America’s education system. Jeanne Allen appears on CNN to give commentary about what is […]

Readying the No Child Left Behind Act (CNN, 2001)

As national education experts gather to work on then-President George W. Bush’s plan to re-authorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Chris Braunlich of the Center for Education Reform and Vicky Rafel of the National Parent Teacher Association discuss No Child Left Behind and the reforms taking place.

Rochester PTA Uses Children to Advance Political Agenda (1999)

September 9, 1999. CER’s alert -and subsequent coverage by the National Review- of the troubling campaign tactics used by opponents of vouchers. The mother of a student at North Hill Elementary in Rochester, Michigan sent CER the following leaflet which was in poor taste and lacked facts.


Sam Brownback on K-12 Education Reform (1995)

Sam Brownback speaks to Empower America and The Center for Education Reform in 1995.

School Choice 1993

In 1993, the idea of school choice was considered radical. CER compiled archive footage to document school choice coverage in the media as the movement received national attention. Here are clips of Rep. Polly Williams, John Chubb, and other influential voices of early education reform discussing school choice in Milwaukee, Harlem, and other major U.S. […]

School Choice in WI – National Opposition, Support for Milwaukee’s Voucher Program (60 Minutes, 1991)

Richard Bonin takes an in-depth look at the success in Milwaukee’s school voucher program, speaking to critics and proponents of school choice legislation, namely Milwaukee Councilwoman Polly Williams. Annette Polly Williams a counselor, clerical worker and politician from Milwaukee who served 10 terms as a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing her […]

School Vouchers, Programs Gain Popularity Across States (FOX, 2002)

Following Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002), a case decided by the United States Supreme Court that tested the allowance of school vouchers in relation to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, in which a divided Court chose to uphold an Ohio school voucher plan, some 20 states plan to introduce bills that would allow […]

Senate Hearing On The Condition Of Washington, DC Schools (CSPAN, 1997)

The Senate hears testimony from pioneers of the reform movement like Jeanne Allen, Sam Brownback, and others in a committee to address the state of the District’s failing education system.

Statement by The Bradley Foundation on Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling Milwaukee Choice Program Constitutional (1997)

Echoing the ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court making clear the constitutionality of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the Bradley Foundation made a statement explaining the gravity and importance of the program to so many families and schoolchildren in need.

Stories of Inspiration, Struggle & Success (2007)

In this report, award-winning author and journalist Joe Williams explores how charter schools are changing the face of American education, reviewing their progress, their trials and tribulations, and their impact on the entirety of the public education. With an explosion in six years from fewer than 1,700 to more than 4,000 schools operating today, the story of these schools continues to chronicle a message of inspiration, struggle, and success.

Stupid In America Transcript (2006)

On January 13, 2006 on 20/20, a John Stossel special aired discussing what’s going on in America’s schools.


Thank God They’re Gone

In this co-authored piece from 1997 by CER founder Jeanne Allen and her then compatriot Checker Finn, they cautioned against the “bear hug” of government on charters, and other such things.

TIME Magazine “New Hope For Public Schools” October 31, 1994

“In a grass-roots revolt, parents and teachers are seizing control of education” TIME Magazine on charter & alternative public schools; their effectiveness, their impact, and why the movement has taken many communities across the nation by storm.


U.S. Schools Setting Up To Fail: Strict Teacher Hiring Boundaries

Frank Wang of the American Enterprise Institute gives commentary on his experience with the boundaries of teacher hiring rules in the public school system, with commentary and response from Lisa Keegan and others.


Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Milwaukee School Choice Constitutional (June 1998)

Choice IS constitutional, says the Wisconsin Supreme Court today, in a decision that is expected to draw national attention once again to the program “that made Milwaukee famous.” First instituted in 1991 for 1,000 children in non-sectarian schools it was upheld by the courts shortly thereafter.