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Morning Shots

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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Writing Coming Back Into The Equation

I like to refer to myself as a “professional reader” when I tell people that I am an English Major. What I commonly leave out of the equation is the amount of writing that accompanies, if not equals, the copious amount of reading that awaits me every semester. Writing, like many other skills, is perfected through practice. Writing is critical in the schooling of a student because it is a skill transferrable throughout the disciplines; a skill that is integral to success in several fields, it is not just limited to English.

The National Writing Project (NWP) works as an organization to enhance teacher quality and commitment regarding the reintegration of writing into the curriculum of low-income schools. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, the executive director of NWP, recently discussed the unfortunate reality that when schools are dubbed as “failing” or “struggling” writing is quickly dismissed from the curriculum to make room for test prep to improve test scores. As made evident through personal experience, being able to answer multiple-choice questions doesn’t transfer directly to success in college and beyond. Eidman-Aadalh and the other panelists made the need to reintegrate writing into the curriculum of these schools imperative, as well as make teachers competent instructors in the field of writing.

Reintegrating writing into the curriculum is one thing, but without effective and quality teachers who can teach students to write well, success will not be obtained. This is where the NWP comes into play, as well as the several devoted individuals across the country who work in tandem with NWP to help teachers optimize their teaching skills and make low-income students gain success through effective writing. Hearing the panelists discuss nationwide initiatives that have helped teachers become more effective at teaching low-income students how to write well and therefore excel across the

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