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On the 9th Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

9 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 9th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

 

“Anyone can make data dance,” it’s been said.

That’s a reference often heard in research debates about whether or not someone’s findings are accurate, and usually to suggest that one person’s research is just as valid (or invalid) as another’s.

And yes, anyone can manipulate data, but not everyone uses the gold standard method of evaluations to help guide policy and decision-making. The gold standard is the term of art, for the best science to gauge whether something is working or not.  It uses real subjects, with similar characteristics, and tracks their progress to determine if the one major variable that distinguishes them might be responsible for their relative success or failure.

In the #edreform world that variable is most often a choice of schools. With literally thousands of comments, tweets, articles & the like constantly disparaging school choice results, CER brought together a distinguished panel of academicians and thought leaders this past November to create the first ever repository of “gold standard” guidelines for the education policy community. The forum was EdReform: Revived, and the findings from an ideologically diverse group conclusively demonstrate that not only does choice work for parents, its success from chartering to vouchers is clear and impactful from the student’s time in a choice school through college.

Giving new meaning to data dancing, these nine arbiters of data

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On the 8th Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

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 8th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

Charter schools are no longer a marginal experiment in US education.

Charter schools were started as a bipartisan effort to give schools more freedom and flexibility to meet results currently not being attained by district schools. As Ember Reichgott Junge, former Minnesota state senator and author of the first charter school bill in the nation, explains, “Chartering trades regulation for results, bureaucracy for accountability.”

Today, there are more than 6,700 charters enrolling nearly three million children in 43 states and Washington DC, leading the way in outcomes for children. There are arts-based charter schools, online charter schools, charter schools focused on STEAM and STEM curriculums, charter schools focused on the classics, and much more. 

The beauty of charter schools is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” model, and parents and children are free to determine if a school is a good fit – a sharp contrast to the district model.

As a student from Natomas Charter School – the winner in our Back Off My Charter video contest – told HBO comedian John Oliver, “The world realizes that education is an archaic model that needs updating – that’s why we have charter schools. We experiment, challenge and create – we pioneer change in hopes that other traditional schools will follow suit.”

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On the 7th Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

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 7th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

by Princess V. Lyles on behalf of Opportunity DC, a project of CER and Democracy Builders

The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) launched in 2004. This vital choice program provides low-income families with federally funded scholarships to attend independent schools throughout the District of Columbia. Since its inception, over 6,500 families have seen their opportunities expand.

Our holiday wish is to see the program expanded as soon as possible!

Throughout 2016 our team of grassroots organizers worked side by side with families who receive this scholarship. We listened to their stories, heard from their children, and supported their efforts as they plead with Members of Congress to sustain and grow this vital program. We stand behind these amazing families because we know that the OSP works! Graduation rates for OSP recipients surpass ninety percent, compared to 69% in DCPS.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to education. As Americans we have choice in almost every aspect of our daily lives…and yet for many low-income families, their zip code alone is the determining factor in the quality or their school. The OSP provides an additional option for DC families who aren’t selected in the lottery for their choice of traditional or public charter schools. The program is a rising tide in DC that has lifted all boats, as all three sectors have seen tremendous academic gains in

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