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Morning Shots

Get Talking: Holiday Conversation Starters

There’s nothing like gathering with family, friends, and colleagues over the holidays – whether it’s at the school play, a work party, or a neighborhood get-together.

But at all of these events, there will always be someone who doesn’t agree with accelerating the pace of reform, because they think it will hurt our school system more than it will help.

These conversation starters stress the importance of improving our schools so parents have access to more and better education options for their kids – and at the very least, can give you something to talk about with Uncle Larry this year!

“Our public schools are just fine. I got a great education,” your uncle says.
We’re an increasingly global society, and with the U.S. ranking 27th in math and 17th in reading out of 34 countries, even our best-performing kids need better learning opportunities.

“But not all parents care”, your neighbor says.
What some perceive as a lack of caring could actually be the result of frustration. As a parent, it’s frustrating feeling like there is no other option for your child outside of the school that is failing them. Only 5% of U.S. children are able to take advantage of school choice opportunities.

“It’s not an education problem, it’s a poverty problem,” says your colleague.
Poverty is a challenge, but not an excuse. Our nation’s charter schools have proven this.A majority of the nearly 2.5 million children in the nation’s more than 6,500 charter schools are poor and minority, and yet they are performing better than comparable kids who have to attend their local public schools.

Let’s give the ultimate gift to parents and students this year by committing to remaining vocal about the importance of enacting parent-empowering education reforms. And,

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Closing the Semester’s Chapter

My internship here at The Center for Education Reform (CER) is drawing to a close and although I have spent an entire semester here, I am finding it hard to piece together words that accurately describe my experience. I met Outreach Coordinator, Tyler, at a nonprofit networking event, and immediately was hooked on CER and everything the organization stood for. On my first day, I was blown away by how much was going on at all times around the office. Press releases were being written, phone interviews were taking place, and all of the sudden I was heading out the door to attend a panel event. Amongst all of the hard work and deadlines, the thing that immediately separated CER from other offices was the heart that the staff puts into the work.

One of the most rewarding takeaways of this experience is seeing how many great people are behind education reform and knowing that I, in some way, helped. Updating data, researching topics, going to events, visiting charter schools; all of these day-to-day tasks I accomplished all went toward a greater goal. I loved that this wasn’t an internship where people were just clocking in and out. Instead, it was an environment of individuals who actually care about making education better. Attending events opened my eyes to the power of conversation and human interaction. I learned so much about other areas of education reform just by attending events and striking up conversation about CER and other organizations with those around me. It was amazing to be able to attend panel discussions, which covered education research and data, as well as First Fridays, where I could experience a more hands-on approach by visiting charter school classrooms. The mix of traveling to events and researching from a computer gave

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Gift Guide: EdReform’s Best Book Bets

The holiday season is upon us, and we’ve got the perfect gift ideas for your favorite education reformers – or those who you want to become one! Check out all of the page-turners out this year that are sure to be a hit for someone on your list:




Education Refrom-Before it was Cool Education Reform: Before It Was Cool – The Real Story and The Pioneers Who Made It Happen
Edited by Jeanne Allen



No Struggle No ProgressNo Struggle No Progress: A Warrior s Life from Black Power to Education Reform
By Howard Fuller with Lisa Frazier Page 



Lessons of HopeLessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools
By Joel Klein



A Light Shines in HarlemA Light Shines in Harlem: New York’s First Charter School and the Movement It Led
By Mary C. Bounds, with foreword by Wyatt Tee Walker



BlendedBlended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools
By Michael B. Horn, Heather Staker, Clayton M. Christensen 



On the RocketshipOn the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools Are Pushing the Envelope
By Richard Whitmire



The Evolution and Revolution of DC Charter SchoolsThe Evolution & Revolution of DC Charter Schools: A Transformation of Public Education in Washington, DC
By Josephine C. Baker

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