David Boaz, Cato, illustrates an important point in “Why Don’t Public Schools Give Parents What They Want?”
“…in a bureaucratic monopoly, the local paper can run thirty years of stories about parents desperate to get their children into particular types of schools, and the central planners can ignore them.”
Read the full article HERE.
School choice Senate Bill 2025 is a promising, if imperfect first step to empowering the neediest students in Tennessee. As the Chattanoogan article states online (full article HERE):
The compromise bill, Senate Bill 2025, would give low-income students in the bottom 10% of schools in Tennessee an opportunity scholarship to attend the K-12 school of their choice. It would keep program caps starting from 5,000 students in year one and rising to 20,000 students in year three. If those caps are not reached each year, scholarships would be offered to other low-income children in those counties in which the bottom 10% of schools are located. The bill maintains the governor’s definition of low-income, which includes families eligible for free and reduced priced lunch, or $44,000 in annual income for a family of four.
However, we decry the arbitrary cap. read more…
When school choice is debated we all tend to reason from our own life experiences – from our education and that of our children. However, for those who are wealthy, middle-class, or even lower middle-class this reasoning would not be based on a full and accurate picture of education in America. Too many have no idea what a school experience consists of for many poor, inner city youth. An excellent real-life portrayal of the struggle to attain an education for inner city, poor students is the movie “Freedom Writers” which is based on the book “The Freedom Writers Diary” by Erin Gruwell the teacher who wrote the story based on Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Eastside, Long Beach, California. Every child deserves to have an education that meets their needs despite their zip code or family income. Although even the wealthy may not be able to find a school that matches their children’s gifting, interests, or talents within their zoned area, it is the poor who pay the greatest daily price for being trapped in dangerous, failing schools. We have an abundance of real-world evidence backed by empirical studies that demonstrate school choice and parental empowerment improve educational outcomes. While some debate and others obstruct school choice options and parental empowerment real children are dropping out and abandoning the future they might have attained if only they had been given a chance to choose a better school. School choice is not a theoretical discussion. School choice is a civil right issue not based in race; rather it is based on income and zip codes. All children deserve an education that will meet their needs and help them achieve their potential! An inferior or inadequate education is an equal opportunity destroyer.
Do we celebrate President Abraham Lincoln because he fought to free 5,000 slaves – not wanting to have too negative economic impact on the Southern states?
Do we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. because he fought to win full civil rights and enfranchisement to 5,000 blacks – not wanting to risk losing too many racist voters?
To create law that states 5,000 children may be free to reach their full potential by choosing a school that will help them reach that potential is an act of cruelty to the child and families of child 5001, 5002, 5003… It creates a false hope. It dangles the hope of a future for their children like a carrot on a stick only to be yanked away.
History rewards leaders who courageously face seemingly unsurmountable odds for good and right, many times sacrificing all including their life. When does history mention the politician who played the odds and measured the electoral winds to make their decisions?
Change will ONLY arrive if and when parents are willing to make their voices heard. Be assured special interests who prefer status quo to actually educating your children make their voices heard and put their money where their demands are. Send an email (five minutes of your time) or call (possibly 20 minutes of your time), Haslam, your Tennessee Senator and House Representative and demand ALL children in Tennessee be free to choose a school that fits their needs.
We celebrate the compassion, courage, and nobility of Cruz and Lee to put aside party and fight together for the greater good and future of children! Will Tennessee politicians rise to the occasion?
School choice is a civil right issue not based in race; rather it is based on income and zip codes. All children deserve an education that will meet their needs and help them achieve their potential! An inferior or inadequate education is an equal opportunity destroyer.
What: School Choice NOW Celebration
When: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Time: 12:00 p.m. CST
Where: War Memorial Auditorium, 301 6th Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37243
Nine reform organizations will be participating: read more…
The Friedman Foundation has ranked every U.S. school choice program based on eligibility and purchasing power in in their 2014 edition of The ABCs of School Choice. This is one of our favorite annual publications to recommend for reading. It is easy to read and focuses on presenting the facts. Of course, since Tennessee has no true school choice program we were not included. With that said, this publication is full of useful information and worth a review. Click HERE. We have also updated the Fact-finding link to the 2014 edition.
Celebrate effective education options with your family and friends during National School Choice Week — or give an Event Kit as a holiday gift!
You can join with millions of Americans in celebrating National School Choice Week (January 26 – February 1, 2014) by hosting a “Friends and Family Night” at your house! Watch a short new movie (below) about the transformational benefits of educational opportunity to start the conversation; enjoy some popcorn, pizza, or a potluck dinner; and hand out our signature yellow scarves to your friends and family.
Your complimentary “Friends & Family Night” Event Kit includes: read more…
Williamson County ranked the 17th wealthiest county in America in 2010 by Forbes.com, yet in 2008their public school district ranked only 59% in math and 74% in reading compared to their global counterparts (Williamson County vs. the nation = math 69%, reading 75%). Governor Haslam and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris expect our children to compete against their global counterparts for the increasingly technical jobs – increasingly the only jobs that pay well enough to support a family, yet Norris finds it just too trying to free our children from their failed education system because of political “gamesmanship.” Silly me! I thought that was what we hired politicians to do on our behalf – deal with politics. We will lose approximately 10,000 more children this year who will drop out of high school as educational freedom gets flushed by the political cowards who care more about their reelection prospects than our children and the future of this state and country. read more…
Last year when the issue of school choice came up in Tennessee the Chambers of Commerce in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville Chambers of Commerce in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville came out strongly against parental empowerment.
This is difficult to understand coming from an organization that should understand the power of competition to bring about lower costs and improved products and services. A recent study demonstrated read more…
With the recent Lincoln movie there has been resurgence of interest in our sixteenth president. Of course, we know who Abe Lincoln was because he was president, but what about Harriet Tubman? How is it nearly a hundred years after her death we remember the name of an ordinary black woman, a former slave? How is it we remember the name of Rosa Parks, another ordinary, otherwise powerless, black woman? We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. annually as a national holiday. Why? What do all these people have in common? They all stood up against injustice, against insurmountable odds, all paying a price, some paying the ultimate price, their lives, fighting for freedom. Do we value freedom so little today we won’t risk a political fight or sacrifice TV viewing time? read more…