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5 Takeaways from the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity

On May 5, 2016, the Jack Kemp Foundation, The Center for Education Reform, the nation’s leader in advancing education opportunity, and Opportunity Lives welcomed Governor McCrory, Congressman Luke Messer, state and national policymakers, education and business leaders to the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity, focusing on addressing upward mobility through education opportunity.

In case you missed one of the biggest education events of the year, here are five takeaways:

1) Innovation and opportunity are essential ingredients for education in this day and age. “Today, if you don’t graduate a learner, they don’t have a chance in this economy,” reflected Congressman Luke Messer.

2) Opening up opportunities and allowing parents more choices creates a ripple effect that uplifts the entire school system.

3) Allowing choices creates a huge economic impact on a community.

4) Personalized learning has the promise to nurture the potential of every individual student. But technology isn’t just about objects – it’s about how it’s implemented and operated.

5) We must work together to advance opportunity. It’s a matter of will, not ability, noted Rep. Hanes. Politicians have to get out into

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The Miseducation of CNN (And Bernie Sanders)

A question posed to Bernie Sanders at last night’s Ohio democratic debate was a missed opportunity to powerfully educate the public about charter schools.  Typically, information is power, but when the information is bad, all we have is mush.  Following is Sanders’ exchange with the questioner and Roland Martin, a well-informed media commentator with a passion for education: (with some of my own commentary sprinkled in)

MARTIN:  Since I have a brother and two sisters who are teachers, and one who is a teacher’s aide, let’s go to a teacher.  We have Caitlyn Dunn, she helps lead a charter school here in Columbus, Ohio.  She did Teach for America and saw the inequities in our school system, and she says she is undecided.  So, you got a shot.  Go for it.

DUNN:  Thank you so much for taking my question.  An article was released in the Columbus Dispatch Friday announcing the schools producing top student gains from around the state of Ohio.  Of these, one-third of those schools producing these results were charters right here in Columbus, Ohio.  So, knowing this, and also having similar narratives from across the country, do you think that charter schools are a viable way to educate children in low-income communities, or do you think that you would continue, as President, giving money to traditional public schools?

During this time, apparently CNN’s Teleprompter was miscued by an ill-informed editor, because rather than abbreviate the question correctly, CNN produced this bastardized version, suggesting that charters were not public schools.

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Adding insult to injury, Mr. Sanders seemed to create a new class of charter schools, one that does

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Should the Senate Confirm King?

Should the Senate Confirm U.S. Education Secretary Nominee?

The Center for Education Reform continues its vigilance on school choice, particularly in Washington DC with the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), an effort we began in 1996 and that finally culminated in success in the 2004-2005 school year.

As the Senate HELP Committee voted 16-6 yesterday on the nomination of John B. King, Jr. for U.S. Education Secretary, CER Founder and Interim-CEO Jeanne Allen spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the power he has to expand DC’s OSP.

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During one of his hearings, Senator Tim Scott pressed King on why his prospective new Department would sit on $35 million in carry-over funds dedicated for the program.

King’s nomination awaits a full vote from the Senate. As good of a man as he is known to be, perhaps it’s time for the U.S. Senate to send the Obama Administration a signal that denying opportunities to students will not stand.

Related News: U.S. Education Secretary Gets Pressed on DC OSP

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