Monday, December 23, 2013

12.23.13 Daily News Clips - afternoon edition

Tweet of the afternoon

Vouchers – North Carolina
The Robesonian: Focus on ‘schools’ eligible for vouchers

School Choice
Sun News: School Choice Program debated

mLive: Schools of choice growing in Michigan, Mackinac Center report claims

Education Reform

Charter Schools
Chicago Sun-Times: CPS says no to charter schools, but Michael Madigan says yes

12.23.13 Daily News Clips – morning edition

Tweet of the morning
@CSUSAhq: The 1st in the #schoolchoiceWISH series is a blog by our founder @CSUSAJonHage on ‪#edreform and #edchoice: 

Vouchers – Indiana
Associated Press: District frustrated by DOE denial of voucher data

Vouchers – North Carolina
Times-News: Seizing an opportunity

School Choice
Times Union: A good education model

Gloucester Daily Times: Editorial: School choice stats should sound alarms for city leaders

Education Reform
The Times: EDITORIAL: A different education agenda for Pence

National Journal: 9 Top Education Longreads of 2013

edWeek: AFT's Weingarten Talks Michelle Rhee, Common Core, Pitfalls in Obama's Education Strategy

Charter Schools
Michigan Capitol Confidential: Charter Schools Serve More Low-Income Students Than Conventional Districts

Los Angeles Times: When charter schools fail, close them

Friday, December 20, 2013

12.20.13 Daily News Clips - afternoon edition

Tweet of the afternoon
@SchoolChoiceNow: Happy Holidays! Wishing you a joyous season of thanks and a new year filled with opportunities! ‪#EdChoice ‪#EdReform ‪

American Federation for Children
Louisiana Scholarship Program Audit: Much Ado?

Journal Sentinel: Walton grant pumps $6 million into vouchers in Wisconsin, other states

Vouchers – North Carolina
Winston-Salem Journal: Chris Fitzsimon on the unaccountability movement in education

School Choice
Texas Public Radio: Davis Campaign Pressing Abbott On School Vouchers

Charter Schools
Watchdog: Philly charter schools outperform district counterparts

Post-Tribune: Pence’s misguided faith in state charter schools

Associated Press: Texas officials move to close 6 charter schools

Louisiana Scholarship Program Audit: Much Ado?

By Whitney Marcavage
Policy Director 
American Federation for Children

In some circles, much is being made of the recently released legislative audit of Louisiana’s Scholarship Program, a statewide voucher program that allows low-income families with children zoned to attend failing public schools the option to attend a participating private school or high-performing public school of their choice. 

Currently, about 6,750 such students are participating in the program, 86 percent of whom are African-American. These are kids who need educational options. It is worth keeping in mind that a multi-year, scientifically-based evaluation of a similar school choice programin Florida has consistently found that the scholarship program in that state serves students whotend to come from lower-performing public schools prior to entering the program. Likewise, as in prior years, they tend to be among the lowest-performing students in their prior school, regardless of the performance level of their public school.”

The legislative audit itself makes clear the high demand for the program – student participation increased 269 percent from school year 2011-12 2013-14, the two years since the program was expanded to serve students statewide beyond Orleans Parish – including a 38 percent jump in enrollment since last year. 

12.20.13 Daily News Clips – morning edition

Tweet of the morning
 ‪@DrStevePerry: Knowing that when kids lose the lottery, they REALLY LOSE. This just shouldn't be in America. It's just wrong. #schoolchoice matters.

American Federation for Children
The Advocate: Letter: Audit finds voucher growth

Talk 107.3: Ann Duplessis talks scholarship audit

Eyes Open with Tony Brown: Duplessis on scholarship program

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12.18.13 Daily News Clips - afternoon edition

Tweet of the afternoon
@StudentsFirstEqual access to high quality schools & teachers for every student in America! #schoolchoiceWISH

Vouchers – North Carolina
Daily Caller: Leftist lawsuit says helping poor kids escape failing public schools is unconstitutional

Shelby Star: EDITORIAL: Vouchers can be positive for education system

School Choice
The Republic: Tax-credit program helping rich Arizona schools get richer

12.18.13 Daily News Clips – morning edition

Tweet of the morning
‪@julioflorida: My ‪#schoolchoiceWISH: That all kids get a fair chance. Education is making a difference for them, let's make it a positive difference

Vouchers- North Carolina
Townhall: NC Superintendent: Vouchers May Fund ‘Schools of Terror’

School Choice
Examiner: Plumsted district approved for school choice program

Monday, December 16, 2013

12.16.13 Daily News Clips - afternoon edition

Tweet of the Afternoon
@RonMatus1: Oh, the holidays. Egg nog. Mistletoe. And a little #schoolchoiceWISH! Share yours with us Wed  #schoolchoice #edFL

Vouchers – Louisiana
The Advocate: Legislative auditor criticizes voucher program

Vouchers – North Carolina
Watauga Democrat: Groups sue over NC school voucher law

12.16.13 Daily News Clips – morning edition

Tweet of the Morning
@HispanicCREO Do you have a WISH you would like to make for #schoolchoice? Join @RonMatus1 @NtlBAEO @PEFNC & others & make a #schoolchoiceWISH 12/18

Vouchers – North Carolina
Fayetteville Observer: White: No vouchers, no good news for schools

Wizbang: Union-Loving School Official Says School Vouchers Would ‘Train Terrorists’

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12.03.13 Daily News Clips - afternoon edition

Quote of the Afternoon

School Choice
WFPL: Bluegrass Institute Launches 'Free to Learn' Debate Series

Education Reform
NOLA: Louisiana Education Superintendent John White gets a national shout-out

The Washington Post: D.C. Council votes unanimously to give schools more money for at-risk kids

EdWeek: U.S. Achievement Stalls as Other Nations Make Gains

Charter Schools
The Lens: KIPP leadership to vote on returning to Orleans school board

Ahwatukee Foothill News: State charter schools seek more taxpayer money

12.03.13 Daily News Clips – morning edition

Tweet of the morning
@redefinEDonline Unbelievable: Judge orders #homeschool kids into public school so they can "socialize" w others via @HSLDA #edchoice

School Choice
Miami Herald: For parents, finding the right magnet or charter school can be hard work School Choice competition for students creates 'shark tank' atmosphere says Hampton board member

Argus Leader: Parents line up for choice of schools

Education Reform
 TribLive: Brewster eyes education reform

Port South: Common Core website launched by education reform group

Charter Schools
EdWeek: Judge Set to Rule on Lawsuit Against Charter Schools in Washington State

Battle Creek Enquirer: Charters elevate our public schools

Monday, November 25, 2013

11.25.13 Daily News Clips

Tweet of the Morning:
@PEFNC Not sure if you are eligible for NC Opportunity Scholarships? Here is a great tool, the eligibility calculator! 

American Federation for Children


The Advocate: Former school voucher foe heads pro-voucher group

Journal Sentinel: Republican Jessie Rodriguez elected to Assembly for 21st District

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jessie Rodriguez Wins 21st Assembly District Seat in Wisconsin

By Matt Frendewey

Voters in the 21st Assembly District seat had two very clear choices to choose from as their next representative: Community activist Jessie Rodriguez or nonprofit fundraiser Elizabeth Coppola. 

Voters chose Jessie Rodriguez. 

Why does this matter?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fighting fiction with fact & reality

By Kevin P. Chavous

Yesterday, Politico published “Vouchers don’t do much for students.” This misleading piece was based on cherry picking data and used talking points identical to those used by the NEA and AFT.

Every day, across America, in 18 states and the District of Columbia, nearly a quarter of a million children attend a school of their choice, many of those students are improving academically, and all have new options, new outcomes, and a new hope for a brighter future because of educational choice. While the outspoken opponents of educational choice and the story cited above try to protect the “system” and oppose parents from having the right to choose the best education for their child, the facts remain on our side.

Monday, September 30, 2013

AFC & ASC Honors the Memory of the late-Rep. John Patrick Julien

AFC & ASC Honors the Memory of the late-Rep. John Patrick Julien

The American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice issued the following statement in honor of Rep. John Patrick Julien, who passed away earlier today.

Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice:

On behalf of the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Rep. John Patrick Julien. The legacy of JPJ, as he was called, will always be that of a leader who put the concern and needs of Florida children first.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reign of Error: One book’s defense of the status-quo

By Kevin P. Chavous

In the several reviews of Diane Ravitch's new book, "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools,” many have focused on her obvious obsession with corporate America and it's 'evil' involvement in education reform.  In writing this book, she clearly wants to warn us all "that reformers want to privatize their public schools and divert their taxes to pay profits to investors." And while Ravitch's rabid attacks throughout the book on education reformers is at times irrational and not based on facts, my problem with her approach and her rhetoric is more basic.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Are Politics to Blame in the Attack on Ed Choice in Louisiana?

By Kevin P. Chavous

I have supported President Obama and known U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for many years and have trusted that their motives are genuine.

But I am now extremely troubled by the motives behind the Dept. of Justice's desegregation lawsuit against the Louisiana scholarship program. In effect, the suit claims that allowing low income Louisiana kids to leave failing public schools in favor of better private schools somehow violates federal desegregation orders issued decades ago.

Since the lawsuit was filed last week, many have speculated as to the motives behind it; why was it filed?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50 Years After King's Dream -- Time to Wake Up

By Kevin P. Chavous
As appeared on Huffington Post "Black Voices" (August 28, 2013)

As our nation steps back to reflect upon the March on Washington and famous speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we all must challenges ourselves to question our nation's progress.

Fifty years later, how has our nation progressed? How have we evolved? How have we improved?

Dr. King's speech helped create momentum for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which legally solidified the equality of African Americans in this country. All week, various events and activities are planned, including an anniversary march on August 28.

Like the 1963 march, the focus of the planned commemorative activities are jobs and justice. But what about education?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Obama to Louisiana Children: ‘You must remain separate and not equal’

By. Kevin P. Chavous

On Saturday, the Obama Administration sued to block Louisiana’s Scholarship Program. This unprecedented and uncalled for action is a direct attack on thousands of low-income children. AFC Press release (

As Adam Emerson, from Fordham summarizes it:


Because, according to the DOJ lawsuit, only a federal judge should be able to allow a poor black child to leave the failing school district. That’s right, it’s not up to the parent, but a federal judge.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Thirteen Most Impactful #EdReform Twitter Feeds of 2013

By Kevin P. Chavous

Earlier this week you read my reaction to the list of “top” education policy Twitter feeds released by Fordham Institute’s Michael J. Petrilli. Michael based his list on Klout scores, and as a result the list was absent many ed reformers who have actually made an impact in the lives of countless children.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NYC Families Gather to Demand More Educational Options

By Kevin P. Chavous

I had the opportunity to take part this weekend in StudentsFirstNY’s Parent Convention. The convention brought together hundreds of families and education choice activists from across New York City to discuss the best way to inspire policy changes that would lead to more quality educational options for New York children. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Who are the real #EdReform Influencers?

By Kevin P. Chavous
Today, Michael J. Petrilli of The Fordham Institute published what he calls, "The Top Twitter Feeds in Education Policy." This is indicative of the problem with some in the education reform community -- let's pat each other’s back for superficial reasons, ignoring the real reason for education reform - helping children.
First, I want to say, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Michael, both personally and professionally, and his list includes some worthwhile education reform champions. But, as Michael explains, the list is based purely on "Klout" scores. Klout is a website that attempts to measure individual influence online, but as Mashable and other outlets have reported, Klout is hardly an accurate measure of social media impact.

More importantly, in the terms of education reform, the most important impact shouldn't be how much we Tweet one another, but how positive impact we're having the lives of children who deserve better educational options.

So while Michael will rely on computer algorithm to develop his list of "Top Twitter Feeds in Education Policy," later this week, I will be releasing the "Thirteen Most Impactful #EdReform Twitter Accounts of 2013." This list will include nominations from you of people whose work is changing the lives of children every day.

To nominate a Twitter account, email - including the name and twitter handle of your nominee or Tweet me your nominee at @KevinPChavous.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why school choice is succeeding

By Kevin P. Chavous

Michael Q. McShane wrote yesterday, “Why School Choice is Failing.” His thought provoking piece raised some very important points, but fails to illustrate how school choice is succeeding, the several solutions already in place to address his concerns, and how school choice advocates are laying the groundwork for even greater impact.

McShane’s issues boil down to three points: Filling excess capacity, encouraging high-quality schools to scale-up and creating new high-quality schools, the latter two McShane argues that school choice programs are “lousy at.”

The majority of us who are involved in the education reform movement are focused on advancing parental choice as central component of fundamental, meaningful, and impactful reform to provide children with better options that generate better educational outcomes. It’s both smart policy and a matter of social justice. However, when a child moves from a public school to a private school through an educational choice program, and receives the same failed outcome, that is not a success. And, this is where McShane has it right.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guided Reading

Check out some of the latest (and greatest) educational choice stories we are reading right now:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How do you like them apples? Matt Damon supports private education

Nearly two years ago to the date, Matt Damon flew into Washington, D.C. to speak at a “Save our Schools” rally. The groups who comprise “Save our Schools” are a who’s who of education organizations who have opposed every single reform over the past 30 years. The rally was against the education reforms underway in Washington, D.C. to help fix one of the nation’s most broken school districts. At the rally, Damon was the champion of public schools and skewered the “corporate reformer[s] who literally never taught anyone anything…” 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Education Choice Topic of Conversation on Capitol Hill

This week education advocates, students, parents and lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss the need for parents to have a say in their child’s education. The Alliance for School Choice had a front row seat at the table, as executive counsel Kevin P. Chavous was one of the panelists.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rep. Cantor: “Enough is enough” when it comes to failing our children

One of the highest ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives issued his support for empowering parents to have a voice in their child’s education. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in an opinion-editorial featured in the Richmond Times- Dispatch said, “Children cannot escape poverty if they cannot read or write. Young adults cannot prepare for college without access to dedicated teachers and administrators. And parents cannot ensure their children have it better than they did if they don’t have the opportunity to improve their children’s education.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celebrating Education Reform at the ESPYS

Champions for Choice Event a Success
By Lisa Leslie
Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and former WNBA star

With my fabulous co-hosts
Kevin P. Chavous and Jalen Rose
One of my favorite events of the year is the ESPY Awards. It is a fantastic opportunity for sports stars, celebrities and fans to join forces and celebrate the athletic achievements of the past year – And this year was no exception!

I was especially excited for this year’s event as I had the opportunity to co-host “Champions for Choice in Education” with Jalen Rose  and Kevin P. Chavous. The event allowed us to educate fellow celebrities and athletes about the importance of educational choice.

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Quality schools shouldn't be just for those who have money" -- Ohio State Rep. Coley Explains his Support for Education Choice

The Ohio Legislature recently passed, and Gov. John Kasich signed into law, legislation that would greatly expand educational options for low-income students in the Buckeye State. Receiving strong bipartisan support across the state, the bill showed the state’s commitment to ensuring all students have access to the best education for their needs – whether that be at a traditional public school, charter or through private school choice program. Rep. Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) drafted an op-ed for the Cincinnati Enquirer on the significance of the passage, and how school choice is helping to level the playing field for low-income and minority students.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Special Needs Students One Step Closer to School Choice in North Carolina

We'd like to applaud the North Carolina Senate for passing House Bill 269, which would create a program to provide children with disabilities with access to the education of their parents’ choice.
House Bill 269, also known as Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants, heads back to the North Carolina House for a final vote before heading to the governor’s desk. If passed, the bill would provide grants of up to $6,000 to children with disabilities to cover private school tuition and related special education services.

Access to a quality education is a right of all students. We are glad to see the North Carolina Senate took the steps necessary to pass this bill, and to work with the House to ensure special needs students can receive the best education to fit their unique needs.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, Kristen Tyagi