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On the Fifth Day of Christmas CER gave to me…

State Policy Changing

(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching
(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
(2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

 

The fifth in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

Election 2016 brought about promising opportunities for changes in state policy. Voters cast their votes so that 2017 will see 72 percent of Governors (including the mayor of Washington DC) with passing grades on parent power and innovation. And while we hope that governors can enact real change in their states, we still have a lot of work to do!

So as we look forward to the potential for change in 2017, here’s a brief look back at states we’ve worked in to start moving the needle on expanding opportunity and innovation:

Kentucky: Laying the Groundwork for a New Opportunity Agenda
In 2007, the Center was the first national organization to answer the call from Kentucky lawmakers to help them forge a path for charter schools and greater opportunity for students across the commonwealth. We have again joined forces – with a new governor, his cabinet and legislative leaders – to map out a strategy for broad success that would ensure opportunities for students young and old, in all of Kentucky’s communities. Our comprehensive approach combined with visits to D.C. charter schools laid a foundation for success. (On election day the Kentucky House became choice-friendly. We continue to provide guidance and assistance in helping them use that momentum to create a new day for students and families.) 

A Disappointing Loss in Massachusetts
Although the ballot initiative to increase the number of charter school in Massachusetts failed, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. CER drove media

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Student Surveys Part of Effort to Gauge Effective Teaching

Hey, kids: How good is your teacher?

This spring, students in the Charlotte region will test-drive a survey that could eventually give them a voice in their teachers’ job evaluations.

Once results are in, state officials will consider whether and how to incorporate a student survey into teacher and principal evaluations. Read More…

9 NC Charters Approved

“NC school board OKs fall open for 9 new charters”
by Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press
WWAY NewsChannel 3

Nine new charter schools are headed for August openings, the first since North Carolina lawmakers removed a 100-school statewide limit last year.

The State Board of Education approved the schools Thursday despite concerns that not enough was known about the impact the new charters could have on racial diversity and the ability of school districts to repay money borrowed for construction.

“There’s just a lot of financial issues,” school board member and state Treasurer Janet Cowell. She is responsible for protecting the state’s good credit rating and heads a commission examining the ability of other public bodies to repay borrowed money.

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that get their funding from taxpayers but operate with fewer of the regulations facing traditional public schools.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Martin, Durham, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro school districts complained that the schools planning to open in their districts would draw away funding and alter the racial balance of existing schools.

While the schools were almost unanimously approved, the discussion again framed the differences over charter schools. Advocates say charters create education options for parents while critics say they set back public education by siphoning off funding and students with the most engaged parents.

“I’m not sure how long we can continue to fund two separate public school systems,” said school board member Jean Woolard of Plymouth. “It looks like we’re going down that slippery slope.”

Board Chairman Bill Harrison noted that the public school establishment and charter school advocates have often seen themselves as adversaries, but with the number of charters likely to multiply it’s time for that to end.

“We’re in a new day, and charter schools are part of the public school landscape. I don’t want us to forget charter schools are public

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