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On the Twelfth Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

Wise People Knowing! 

(11th) Great Funders Funding
10th) Best of Teachers Teaching
(9th) Nine Data Dancing
(8th) Charter Schools Leading
(7th) Opportunity Scholars Expanding
(6th) Parent Power Growing
(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
 (2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

The final in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

The Wise People of the education reform movement – or as we lovingly call them, the Pioneers – are the people no one ever really talks about anymore, but are the ones who made EdReform happen, and whose work led to the innovations that many rest on today. 

Before it was cool there was also very little social media, and email was something you did after you had a meeting or a conversation (not in place of). The result was that the EdReform movement was crafted in person or by phone, in long meetings, retreats, conference lobby bars, and the like. Calls were made to each other at night in the heat of battle as legislators were slugging it out on the floor (Rep. Sally Perz of Ohio can regale you on that one). The best way to craft a school choice policy that helped children most in need was negotiated artfully with disparate coalitions of Type A people (Susan Mitchell of Milwaukee still has the scars to prove it).

There was Linda Brown in Massachusetts, Ted Rebarber in DC, Ember Reichgott Junge in Minnesota, Yvonne Chan in California, and countless

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On the Eleventh Day of Christmas CER Gave To Me…

Great Funders Funding! 

(10th) Best of Teachers Teaching
(9th) Nine Data Dancing
(8th) Charter Schools Leading
(7th) Opportunity Scholars Expanding
(6th) Parent Power Growing
(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
 (2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

 

The 11th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

We would be remiss if we didn’t dedicate a day to those who put their money where their mouth is and back the idea that innovation and opportunity can thrive to produce better outcomes in education.

Of course, the first person that comes to mind is the late John Walton – the driving force behind the Walton Family Foundation’s original education reform investments who believed in school choice because it was the right thing to do.

Another “giant of freedom” is the late Lovett “Pete” Peters, who ardently believed all children deserve superb teachers and an excellent education. At the age of 75, Peters dedicated himself to improving education in his home state of Massachusetts and across the nation. His legacy lives on in the organization he founded (the Pioneer Institute) and the Massachusetts charter schools (of which he played a key role in bringing to the Commonwealth) achieving great results for kids today.

And speaking of great results, when comedian John Oliver inaccurately portrayed charter schools last summer, Janine Yass – a charter school founder and philanthropist – was one of the first to spring to action to make sure these falsehoods didn’t stick. “Your show hurt poor children,” she personally wrote to

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On the Tenth Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

The Best of Teachers Teaching!

(9th) Nine Data Dancing
(8th) Charter Schools Leading
(7th) Opportunity Scholars Expanding
(6th) Parent Power Growing
(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
 (2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

 

The 10th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

by Dave Saba

“Your teachers teach!”

What a great statement from Texas Serenity Academy about teachers they received from the Teachers of Tomorrow alternative certification program. There are over 3.5 million teachers in schools today and many are doing an incredible job teaching America’s students. They challenge their students to learn while at the same time meeting the growing bureaucratic needs of an ever-expanding central office.

But PISA scores show that we must do better. We are too good to be 15th in reading, 35th in math and 18th in science.

Teachers have the greatest impact on student learning and yet our teaching pipeline is dry. Over the past 10 years the number of students selecting education as their major has dropped from 9.9 percent to 4.2 percent. Right now there are 116,000 openings in schools and it is only getting worse.

Some argue that there isn’t a teacher shortage and we have produced the right number of teachers. They argue that the problem is that too many are just not teaching, or don’t teach the right subjects or don’t want to teach in the right geography and they would be correct. They say we need to keep more great teachers in the classroom and they are right.  But if you are the HR person tasked with putting

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