Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Convention Recap: How Did School Choice Play at the GOP Convention?

During last week’s Republican National Convention, education reform emerged as one of the major issues addressed by keynote speakers.  Here’s the rundown of the top school choice moments of the GOP Convention:

Condoleezza Rice

The former secretary of state wowed the crowd when she spoke about what she called the civil rights issue of our time: our K-12 education reform. Read more about her comments here, and watch the accompanying video:

Jeb Bush

The former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, welcomed the convention to his home state.  He spoke of the successes of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and what school choice would mean for America:

We say that every child in America has an equal opportunity, but tell that to a kid in whose classroom learning is not respected.  Tell that to a parent stuck at a school where there is no leadership.  Tell that to young, talented teacher who just got laid off because she didn't have tenure.  The sad truth is that equality of opportunity doesn't exist in many of our schools.  We give some kids a chance, but not all.  That failure is the great moral and economic issue of our time and it is hurting all of America.

I believe we can meet this challenge.  We need to set high standards for students and teachers, and provide students and their parents the choices they deserve.


So, my question to you is, shouldn't parents have that kind of choice in schools that best meets the needs of their students?

Governor Romney gets its.  Mitt Romney gets it.  He believes parents, regardless of zip code or income, should be
able to send their child to the school that fits them best.

That has set him up against some entrenched interests. There are many draw the line at school choice.  ``Sorry, kid.

Giving you equal opportunity would be too risky, and it would upset powerful political forces that we need to win elections.'' I have a simple message for these masters of delay and deferral. Choose -- you can either help the politically powerful unions, or you can help the kids.

Frantz Placide

Frantz Placide spoke about his success thanks to the school choice initiatives in Florida.  Check out what Placide, a successful student as a result of school choice, had to say in the video below:

Chris Matthews

After Gov. Bush spoke, MSNBC host Chris Matthews argued in support of school choice during a segment with Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton:

There are a lot of people out there who live in opportunity scholarship, any chance for a better education for their children.

The way you do that is through opportunity and competition, not by stifling the hopes of kids in terrible neighborhoods.

The GOP convention addressed education reform and school choice, and later this week, School Choice Now! will analyze how the Democrats will address education reform at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

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

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