Friday, February 3, 2012

Juan Williams on Parental Choice in the Windy City

We told you before that Juan Williams—one of the nation’s leading journalists, commentators, and political analysts—will deliver an address on school choice at the American Federation for Children’s third annual National Policy Summit (Register at in May, but Williams is already touting the importance of parental options three months (to the day!) before the Summit begins.

In conjunction with the Education Action Group Foundation, Williams created a short movie, entitled "A Tale of Two Missions," on parental choice in Chicago. It focused on two important topics: what elected officials are doing to improve Chicago’s schools and what others are doing to prevent meaningful reform.

In what is something of a preview for what you'll hear at our Summit, Williams stresses the importance of school vouchers, charter schools, and empowering parents. Though it's not home to a private school choice program, the Land of Lincoln has strong charter schools in the Windy City, a fact that Williams found out firsthand when he visited Noble Charter Network—a place home to a 99 percent graduation rate.

The school is so focused on the success of its students that it has what's called "Alumni Hall." Principal Bill Olsen takes Williams down the hallway, which is dedicated to graduates by displaying the school banners where they've gone to further their education.

Watch the video below:

But "A Tale of Two Missions" is more than just a profile of charters; it’s really about the broad importance of school choice and empowering parents.  Williams speaks in the video with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who, as we've discussed before, sends his own children to private school.

“The solution is parental choice,” Williams says. “When parents are given the power to choose, schools are given the incentive to compete.”

After watching the video, you'll want to hear even more from Williams. You can do so by attending our National Policy Summit, which will be held at the Westin Jersey City Newport Hotel in Jersey City on Thursday, May 3, and Friday, May 4, 2012.  The summit will feature the nation’s leading public policy-makers, analysts, advocates, and reformers.  It's open to the public via registration at

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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