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What Did I Learn?

“How was your summer working at the National Education Association?”

“Great, except I spent my summer working at The Center for Education Reform.”

Although my dad was misinformed about how and where I spent my summer, I am confident that my dad will not be misinformed of what the Education Reform movement entails when the time comes to answer all his inevitable questions about my summer internship. One of which I anticipate to be, “what did you learn?”

When I think about how responding to this question, I can name a million and three things I learned this summer, but the most prominent was the importance of communication of correct information and knowledge.

This small conversation with my dad parallels a prominent aspect of the Education Reform movement; the power and importance of knowledge and information. Before my summer interning with The Center for Education Reform (CER), I thought that being on the ground was the only way to enact change and progress. Nine weeks later I realize how misinformed I was about the different levels of work being done to propel the education reform movement forward.

Although I could go on for hours reciting and recounting all the things I learned this summer about the education reform movement, one of the most important things I learned was that this movement would be nothing if parents and community members were not accurately informed about their options of education for their children. I gained a new appreciation and understanding of how knowledge encourages and fosters change and progress; without information or knowledge movements can’t change and children can’t be given the quality education that they deserve.

I am not the same person I was walking into the doors of CER as I am walking out. I am not only much more informed about the education reform

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Here Comes The Sun

It seems like only yesterday I walked into CER’s office for the first time. As I entered, I was immediately struck by the CER logo, most specifically by the sun. It was fun, something a little different. However, as time went on, I learned just how much the sun embodies CER’s mission and work.

My experience at CER has been diverse and the opposite of dull. I started my internship knowing “enough” about edreform, and I end it having lived and breathed the movement. My experience here has been invaluable and those who I have been surrounded by could not be more inspirational. The talks and panels I had the opportunity to attend were informative and impassioning. Additionally, the event that the interns put on, “EdReform Past, Present, and Future”, was such a blast and I had a wonderful time moderating.

These opportunities allowed me to see that education is not limited to a traditional public school setting but rather that every child is unique and as a result every child has a right to his own choice of school. Education is the great equalizer; this is something we must cherish as well as protect. The sun can never set on education reform until every parent has a choice so every child has a chance.

I want to thank the amazing team at CER for giving me this wonderful opportunity, as well as my fellow interns for being at my side throughout the learning process and encouraging me each step of the way. Each of you has taught me so much and I wish you all the best on your journey to give every child a chance through choice.

Your passion and leadership has inspired me and I know you will all continue to be movers and shakers in the edreform movement.

Madeline Ryan,

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When Parents Have A Choice, Kids Have A Chance

On Tuesday morning, PublicSchoolOptions.org held a rally outside of the U.S. Capitol to unite edreformers in an effort to celebrate school choice as well as push for more options for heightened parent power. The group of those who gathered at the rally was diverse to say the least. Coming from all over the country, students, teachers, education professionals, parents, and kids gathered in Upper Senate Park in support of giving parents the opportunity to make individual school choices for their children. Every parent wants what is best for their child, every mother and father wants to see their son or daughter succeed and live out their dreams. The importance of parent power is undeniable because more so than anyone else, parents have their child’s best interest in mind. All around me I saw impassioned people holding “I Trust Parents” signs and chanting those same words. The atmosphere was infectious and immediately, I was captivated.

To add to the excitement, we were joined by many notable guest speakers including Senator Tim Scott (SC), Congressman Luke Messer (IN), Kevin Chavous, CER board member and Executive Counsel at the American Federation for Children and CER’s very own Kara Kerwin. Each spoke with a sense of urgency for more school choice and each instilled in the crowd a feeling of purpose and pride in the cause. Although the four individuals come from diverse backgrounds and have different experiences, the four cannot deny the importance of choice in education.

One thing that really stuck out to me at the event and that I believe will follow me on my journey in the education reform movement is everyone at some point or another will be touched by school choice. There is an innate sense of universality in school choice and

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