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Newswire: February 12, 2013

Vol. 15, No. 6

STATE OF THE UNION. Like a scene from House of Cards, everyone and their brother is trying to get their last minute ideas into the “rabbit hole” of SOTU speeches! So we have joined them, and while our tax-status discourages lobbying, we can advocate for what the president should say, about education, tonight. In our humble opinion, here are a few talking points as well as some suggestions for last minute guests in the First Lady’s box!

STATE OF THE REFORM MOVEMENT. This spring marks 30 years since A Nation at Risk was issued, and the critical lessons from then still ring true today. CER started nearly 20 years ago to take on the “rising tide of mediocrity.” As we prepare for the future, changes are in order. Find out what we’re talking about in our recent Letter to FriendsA Nation at Risk, A Movement Ahead: The Future of CER.

STATE OF DIGITAL LEARNING. It’s the future, it’s now and it’s all around us. Speaking of generational change, it’s time for all the old fogies out there — and the young ones who are opposed to technology use and expansion — to get out of the way and let innovation thrive. Opportunities abound! First, check out this new report from the Pioneer Institute for those seeking to start online schools. Next, schools and school districts can learn how to deploy blended learning by perusing the implementation guide produced by the very broad, very bi-partisan Digital Learning Now! Or if you’re a parent or educator and just want to get involved directly for your child or in a new classroom of the future, you could join in with Connections, Rocketship, K12 or any number of providers doing this throughout the country. The future is now.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Recently about two hundred people showed up at the U.S. Department of Education’s auditorium to protest the closing of failing schools. A bit of an irony given that a) it wasn’t Arne Duncan doing the closing though he’s clear that bad schools should, and b) the data that these schools produced for years is clear and compelling. Who are they? They got lots of press attention, and National Journal Online asked for comments. The one produced by this editor got crazy reactions across Twitter, denying a connection between Journey for Justice and the various union front groups like Save Our Schools and Parents Across America. The outrage, they suggested, at anyone connecting the dots! The dots aren’t that hard to find. Those promoting their work include Daily Kos and Netroots Nation – two far, far left of left groups — whose spring conference is in fact funded by the unions. Just parents? Yeah. Right.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS. Be sure to save the date for October 9, 2013 to join us in Washington, DC to celebrate CER’s 20th Anniversary – The RatPack EdReformies, saluting the “classics” of edreform. Keep your eyes peeled at www.edreform.com for more information on the ‘Gold Standard’ Panel convening on the 30th Anniversary of A Nation at Risk.