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Morning Shots

On the Sixth Day of Christmas CER gave to me…

Parent Power Growing!

(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
(2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!


The 6th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

Parent Power is growing and evolving – not just in practice,
but in the way we think about and talk about what this term means. The lingo may have changed slightly, but the goal is still the same.

Let us explain.

The Center has more than two decades under its belt working to empower parents. And since 1999, CER has been providing Parent Power!, a program aimed at helping parents make sense of schooling. Parent Power! started out as a quarterly magazine, but as the World Wide Web grew, so did Parent Power!  CER has helped develop and network over 10,000 grassroots groups all across the country.

The Parent Power Index is CER’s vision for the next generation of Parent Power!

Why the switch from the alliterative title? Throughout 2016, The Center for Education Reform reenvisioned its focus and mission and began the important work of reframing the debate about education in America. No longer content just to reform education, CER is now dedicated to expanding educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans.

Our vision is a country and states that provide increased, quality educational opportunities that secure our nation’s freedom and future prosperity. At the heart of that prosperity is freedom, and the ability to apply the entrepreneurial spirit of this country to all education, where it is most urgently needed. And at the heart of that freedom is giving parents the fundamental power to choose the kind of education and

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Feelin’ 22

I dunno about you, but we’re feelin’ 22!

Yesterday CER officially turned 22, marking over two decades of advocating for choice, accountability, and Parent Power. While we’re proud of what the #edreform movement has accomplished, it’s time to ramp up the pace at which students have access to choices. Across America, only about five percent of all school-aged children are taking advantage of great educational opportunities.

YOU can help edreform grow more opportunities for children in its 22nd year and beyond in a variety of ways like donating or selecting CER as your charitable organization of choice when you shop on Amazon through AmazonSmile. Thank you for your support over the years, and together, we will continue to change the conditions of education today and push for policies that increase #ParentPower.

Hear what our friends and partners in education reform have to say about CER’s work here!


FROM THE DESK OF… Jeanne Allen, Senior Fellow: Recommendations on the GOP Presidential Debate

In the hands of some very seasoned campaign advisors, most presidential candidates take a safe approach to debates. With a relatively short time to get your talking points out, numerous issues to cover and lots of competitors working hard to hog the stage, they are advised to stay focused. But the measure of a candidate is what they do – and say – when programming is impossible. Who these people are and how they’d do as our president is best measured by dealing with issues that every one of us can relate to, the most communal of issues. That’s why I’m hoping that the candidates find opportunities across every issue to demonstrate their understanding that education is the great equalizer, and its connection to the economy and our international competitiveness, our peace, our safety at home and abroad is all connected to how well we educate our youth and our adults. Education is a big field, of course, so I’ll be looking for the guy or gal who is able to talk about education in the context of the most important current events we face today in improving and revolutionizing our schools. In my book, the candidate who touches well on the following three most important themes will win my vote.

Number One: Celebrate charter schools

Charter schools provide choice and diversity to parents and teachers, and challenge the status quo to do better. They are held accountable by performance contracts and in states where charters are largely independent from state and local bureaucracies they thrive. Charter schools are the reason we talk about standards today, have performance pay and teacher quality on the table and have closed some achievement gaps. Charters have helped breathe new life into cities like Washington, D.C. and New Orleans (just two out of

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Answering the call…

The nation will never forget watching the levees break, the fear and pain on the faces of the people trapped, the destruction, countless lives lost too soon. Ten years ago to the date, a storm, an act of God, broke down almost every system and structure that was supposed to keep the great people of New Orleans safe.

There is no question that those systems and structures were severely flawed and broken before the storm. But one in particular – the traditional public schools – literally had tens of thousands of students falling through the cracks. Before the storm, every effort to bring substantive reform to education was fought and defeated by special interests. At the time, CER was intricately involved with the dozen or so folks locally trying to bring about substantive change.

When news of Hurricane Katrina hit, we were all glued to our televisions in horror, outraged that Americans were suffering because of it. There’s a lot of speculation as to the reasons why – flawed government, brutally failed efforts to evacuate – the list goes on.

On August 29, 2005 I made a phone call. What about the hundreds of families of the dozen or so charter schools we personally knew and worked with – were they safe? Dr. James (Jim) Geiser, the former director of Louisiana Charter School Association, now Senior Program Consultant at University of Georgia, answered the call!

Jim and several charter leaders and families made it to Baton Rouge. If my memory serves me right, a charter operator in Louisiana’s state capital gave them refuge.

I’ll never forget Jim’s words, “It’s all gone… You can’t even imagine the destruction. We’re desperately trying to find students and their families to make sure they are safe.”

I could hear the pain in his voice while he was multitasking to

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Exercising Parent Power

It’s that time of year again – kids are heading back to school. For parents, this can be a reason to rejoice or panic.

Sure, you’re happy your child is going to begin another year of learning and growth. But, at the same time you may be worried about whether or not your child is in the right environment, if the teachers are properly preparing your child for the future or if there are better options available.

Well, the Center for Education Reform is available to help.

Parent Power provides the tools for parents to become empowered and make the best decisions possible for their child’s future.

Whether you have questions about charter schools, school choice, curriculum, evaluating your child’s school, digital learning, or even how to stay involved and informed with your child’s homework, the site will help you get the answers you need.

Parents have more power over their child’s education than ever before. You just may not realize it. Parent Power will help you navigate the system and take control over your child’s learning.


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