Here are just a few ways you can take action:
1) Contact your candidates for governor today using Project Vote Smart or by editing the following letter and sending it personally by email, post or fax:
I believe that strong education policies that empower parents and teachers are vital to the quality of education that our children receive. In order to make a lasting impact on the education system in (YOUR STATE), I urge you to support a package of reform initiatives that will improve quality educational options for our children, enhance the teaching profession, and promote and protect our state by becoming a leader in student achievement.
Parents need many options – in both public and private settings – and teachers must be compensated for the success in their classrooms. I urge you to embrace the three following tenets of education in your education platform:
CHARTER SCHOOLS: Charter schools are independent, public schools that are free from most rules and regulations that hinder other schools, are open by choice and held accountable for results. They are required to abide by the same standards and assessments as other public schools but because of the freedom they receive in most state laws, they deliver programs tailored to educational excellence and the needs of the communities they serve. Today, more than 5,000 charter schools serve 1.5 million students in the United States.
SCHOOL CHOICE: Publicly-funded scholarships, often known as vouchers, provide parents with the opportunity to use a portion of the money allotted for their child’s education at a private school of their choosing. Tax-credits are another form of school choice, and help provide scholarships to students who qualify for certain programs. Programs in many states are focused on children in need, both educationally and financially.
PERFORMANCE PAY: Performance pay, or merit-based pay, rewards teachers based on their performance in the classroom and not just on seniority, which is currently the norm. True merit pay is not a system of bonuses, but rather a method of linking educators’ pay directly to student performance. These policies are designed to increase individual accountability by linking compensation and job security directly to operational and academic outcomes.
Thank you for commitment to (YOUR STATE) and for running for the office of Governor. I am depending on your leadership to significantly increase the quality of education available to our children.
2) Ask the right questions so you’ll know which candidates stand for real reform.
Here’s a quick and easy guide — a Candidate Meter! — to measuring the real reform pedigree of candidates running for office at any level:
3) Engage your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.
Pass along this URGENT EDREFORM ELECTION UPDATE, which has important information and tools that help people know how to vote for education reform.