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Education Reform Conversation Starters (and Stoppers)

Dear Friend,

Last week, I wrote to you about gathering with family and friends over the holidays and how to start (and stop) education reform conversations.

Picture this: Your sister corners you by the cookie table. It starts out with, “How did you feel about the election?” and quickly spins out of control. Be ready this year. Whether it’s at a neighborhood party, after the school pageant or at home, you are always a messenger for education reform.

And, that’s why we need your help. Will you make a modest $12, $24 or $36 donation today to help CER keep the education reform message alive and active?

And, in case you missed them last week, here are a few conversation starters (and stoppers) to pull out when you need them. It’s our gift to you for a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever brings you together during this season of joyous celebration:

Education Reform Conversation Starters (and stoppers)

• Work is great, Cousin Pat, except there are still 13 million children trapped in failing schools with nowhere to go. Everyone should have the same chance to be as well-educated, don’t you think?

• Poverty and hunger you say? You’re right, Uncle Ed; those are root causes of poor education. But next to the family, a quality education is the most important factor in ensuring a child’s future. A majority of the nearly 2 million children in the nation’s more than 6,000 charter schools are poor and minority and yet they are performing better than comparable kids who have to attend their local public schools.

• Did you know that the U.S. ranks 25th in math and 21st in science out of 30 industrialized nations? Even our best performing kids – like yours, Aunt Betsy — are failing to keep pace.

• Parental Involvement? Yes that’s important, but no, it’s not that choice parents are smarter or more involved. It is choice that brings power and motivation to those who do not otherwise have it. A parent who can vote with her feet is a parent a school works hard to keep.

No child should be forced to attend a school that is failing. You know that all students can succeed when schools are not bound by onerous contracts and rules, when principals have control and when staff are held accountable for student success. Real reform gives schools freedom to meet student needs, sends equal money to follow students and gives parents a choice as to where dollars flow.

You can help us give the ultimate gift to families all over this country by committing to enact real reforms this coming year, no matter what pain it may cause the status quo. Will you join us and make a modest $12, $24 or $36 today?

Best Regards,

Jeanne Allen
President