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Morning Shots

The Summer I Became An Education Reformer

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nine weeks since I first walked into the CER office. As I sat in on my first staff meeting that Monday morning, I had a million thoughts swirling in my head about what my time here would be like. Never would I have believed I would have the chance to go to several talks at Capitol Hill, be invited to a multitude of education reform events, have the experience of planning an intern only event or even be a part of an education reform rally. Nor could I have imagined the amount of knowledge I have had the privilege of learning. All these things and more are what encompassed my time here at The Center for Education Reform.

One of my favorite experiences would have to be a discussion we went to at American Enterprise Institute about Robert Putnam’s book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.” This event combined my two favorite subjects: education and economics. It was reasonable, logical and laid everything out on the table. I enjoyed hearing the explanation of the book from the author himself, Robert Putnam, but I also enjoyed the critiques different members of the panel gave as well.

Having the opportunity to be in this world and become an education reformer has only reaffirmed my passion in life. Making a difference and doing everything I can to ensure every child is given a proper education is my lifelong dream and being here this summer at CER has given me a chance to start the path to accomplishing this dream.

My experience this summer would not be what it was if it weren’t for the amazing staff here at CER. Without their wisdom, guidance, or knowledge my summer would have not been the enriching experience

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Last Day Blues!

I simply cannot believe that today is my last day here at The Center for Education Reform! Where did the summer go? I remember patiently anticipating my arrival here for a whole month before I began my internship. So many thoughts were going through my head as to how this summer would go, the things I would learn, and if education reform would be the thing for me.

Well let’s just say I answered all of those questions and more. I now look at myself as a well-versed education reformer trainee in this long fight for school choice. CER taught me so many things about the movement that I never would have been able to grasp had I searched for the information myself. For instance, who knew that charter schools are not private schools and vouchers are actually used for more than just shopping, and my favorite (E)SEA is not just the blue waters we play in, etc. Just me? Ok, let’s excuse these little mishaps.

CER has also taught me about the strenuous work of nonprofits. I always knew that a nonprofit was started from a just cause, but I never knew that it took this much work to operate. From doing the office grunt work that many like to avoid, to offering input on education policies in different states, even to doing grassroots work like participating in parent choice rallies, CER works!

One great thing about this internship was being able to go out to events and hear the many different voices in Ed Reform. Going to different events and hearing people passionately speak about their efforts in Ed Reform let me know that the work I’m doing and will do is worth it. One of my favorite events that I attended was called “The State of Entrepreneurship in K-12 Education”.

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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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