Newswire: January 17, 2017 — Unions Working Overtime (Without Pay) as DeVos Hearing Kicks Off — Ohio Overreach — Rural Schools, Connectivity and the First 100 Days — Remembering Larry Patrick

UNION OVERTIME (without pay). The unions are working overtime to discredit both the cause of education opportunity and the Education Secretary designee most likely to help state lawmakers bring it about. As they took to the airwaves and newspapers, so did we! The Center’s Founder & CEO Jeanne Allen sounded off on Fox & Friends this morning on the contradictory assertions being made. She also shared with ABC how the very suggestion of changing the status quo emits screams and howls from the BLOB. And indeed unions have been screaming and howling, getting teachers to push their traditional script of lies to US Senators. Be sure to click the link – it’s fascinating how they seek to put words in people’s mouths that are patently false.

MOBILIZE FOR CHANGE. EdReformers’ calls are also increasing, thanks to public information campaigns like this one to stand up for education opportunity. CALL TODAY as the US Senate will hold DeVos’ confirmation hearing at 5pm today and vote subsequently!  You can also get more information and tune into the live hearing from the Great Lakes Education Project.

OHIO OVERREACH? State Education Departments, like Ohio’s, also like to overreact to edreform, something we are hopeful will change once the feds put less restrictions on states. In Ohio, the bureaucracy is adding new strings – non-academic – to the work of authorizers like the school district. The Plain Dealer covers how the penalties imposed lead to the district’s being deemed ineffective.

RURAL SCHOOLS, CONNECTIVITY & 100 DAYS.  EducationSuperHighway reports that since 2013, 30.9 million students have gained access to broadband that’s fast enough to support digital learning needs, but there’s more work to be done, especially in rural areas. The new administration can bolster efforts to get rural communities connected. Our plan for how the feds can pave the digital super highway to schools and students in remote areas.

IN MEMORIUM. We note with sadness the recent passing of Larry Patrick one of the true pioneers of the education reform movement. An early advocate of charter schools Larry was one of a slate of reformers who ran for, and ultimately took over, the Detroit school board in the late 1980s (Larry’s last name provided the “P” in the slate, which was dubbed “HOPE”). His work to achieve reforms helped bring us to where we are today, and his spirit will help carry us into tomorrow. Our sympathies go out to his family and many friends and admirers, among which we count ourselves at the top of the list. A link to his memorial site here.