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Reality Check w/ Jeanne AllenAbout Reality Check with Jeanne Allen

 Reality Check is the weekly podcast about anything and everything having to do with education. This new series of lively, engaging podcasts covers anything and everything having to do with education. This series is hosted by Jeanne Allen the Founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform where we’ve been working to expand parental choices and education innovation for a quarter of a century. Reality Check with Jeanne Allen is a production of National Review. Our sincere thanks to Charlie Cooke and National Review for making this important podcast possible. We chose the name Reality Check because we’ve found over the years that a lot of what you read or see about education is often WRONG or at least, seriously misleading. In order to know what’s really going on in our elementary and secondary schools as well as in higher education, you will need a Reality Check. Never miss an episode! Listen and Subscribe to Reality Check at:



July 2, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Increasing College Accessibility & Upward Mobility - Steve Klinsky on Reality Check with Jeanne Allen

As Americans have watched the cost of traditional college and even the cost of preparation for college rise astronomically over the years, the result has been crushing student loan debt. It has also sadly shattered the dream of even attending college for millions of students. Steve Klinsky, investor, active philanthropist and long-time education reformer conceived a solution that could serve as an “on-ramp to college” and began writing editorials describing his concept in 2012. By 2014, the “Freshman Year for Free” initiative was a reality – allowing students to earn up to one year of college credit without tuition or textbook expense. Today Steve Klinsky is the founder and CEO of Modern States, a non-profit education alliance dedicated to college access for all in partnership with edX, the leading online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT.

 

June 25, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Phoenix Charter Academy CEO Beth Anderson

Many passionate ed reformers and teachers in general, come to the profession from other walks of life or different training but Beth Anderson has been a teacher since 1991. She began her career teaching bilingual kindergartners in LA through Teach for America. But it was her work with her students’ young and mostly undereducated parents that sparked her deep commitment to serving adolescents who were disconnected from public education avenues. In 2006, Beth founded Phoenix Academy in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Today, she is the CEO of the successful and continually innovative Phoenix Charter Academy Network. The network has grown to three schools that challenge resilient, disconnected students with rigorous academics and relentless supports so they take ownership of their futures and succeed in high school, college, and as self-sufficient adults.

 

June 20, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Liberty Justice Center, Janus v. AFSCME Lawyer Jacob Huebert & Scenes From the Supreme Court Steps

Teachers and unionized workers across the country could see relief and a freer working future this week when the Supreme Court issues its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which is expected to drop any day now. Jacob Huebert is the Director of Litigation at the Liberty Justice Center and works to protect economic liberty, the First Amendment, and other constitutional rights in federal and state courts in Illinois and elsewhere. Jacob is also an attorney for Mark Janus in Janus v. AFSCME, the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether governments can force their employees to pay fees to a union as a condition of their employment. Jacob is also the author of a book, Libertarianism Today, and his writing has been published widely in scholarly and other publications.

 

June 18, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: How Children Grow into Stable, Successful Adults: A Conversation with Erica Komisar, LCSW

Erica Komisar, LCSW is a clinical social worker, psychoanalyst and parent guidance expert who has been in private practice in New York City for 25 years. She is best known in the media and parenting groups nationwide for her recent book Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters. Based on more than two decades of clinical work and breakthrough neurobiological research on caregiving, attachment and brain development, this book challenges established concepts (and myths) of infant resiliency, ‘having it all’ and even the definition of feminism. One thing this book is not about is quitting your job. Author Komisar emphasizes, “It’s not about working vs. not working – it’s really a book about more is more.”

 

June 11, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Completion with a Purpose: The Path To Higher Learning, with Carol D’Amico​

Carol D’Amico is the Executive Vice President of Mission Advancement and Philanthropy with Strada Education Network. Her background as a nationally recognized expert in designing and leading strategies related to higher education, workforce development and business-led involvement with education reform has led her to her unique position at Strada Education Network. Since joining SEN in 2013, Carol has played a leading role in developing national and state-based philanthropic initiatives involving the higher education, business and workforce development sectors. SEN’s driving principle is Completion with a Purpose, or in Carol’s words, “How do we make sure people who engage in post high school education have a career objective in mind and are able to fulfill that objective?” The answers are as evolving as the new American workplace.

 

June 4, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Bill Walton

In a lifetime of amassing experiences and diverse avenues of success, Bill Walton has been driven by one defining theme, “I’ve always been interested in the barriers to change.” A lifelong learner, Bill is an entrepreneur, education reformer, supporter of the arts, founder and chairman of the private equity firm Rappahannock Ventures, and is a feature film and documentary producer. His media interests also span newspapers, magazines, and his own webcast, The Bill Walton Show. For more than 25 years, he has been an education reformer and innovator. Bill and his wife Sarah developed an entire French and Spanish language curricula, Language Odyssey. Since then, he has been passionate in the belief that, “A free market in education rather than government-run schools is the ideal system for every child to flourish in.”

 

May 28, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Colin Sharkey

Read Colin Sharkey's Bio

Big changes are likely on the way for teachers, teachers’ unions and potentially for no less than the entire model of US education. “We really need to rethink the framing of the profession,” says Jeanne Allen. The impending Supreme Court ruling on the AFSCME v. Janus case and the growing demand for professional autonomy among teachers nationwide are just a few of the topics in this episode with guest Colin Sharkey. As Executive Vice President of the Association of American Educators (AAE), Colin is uniquely qualified to discuss the challenges facing today’s teachers. AAE is the nation’s largest non-union professional educator association with members in all fifty states, serving public districts, public charter educators and any employee working in schools. The AAE mission is to foster the transformation of the teaching profession by empowering and supporting a community of professionals for the benefit of students and the nation.

 

May 21, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: If You Think Teacher Strikes Are About Pay, Think Again

20,000 North Carolina teachers took to the streets of Raleigh for what was billed as a march and rally against low wages and underfunded schools. It was neither. “My heart goes out to the teachers that did turn out for the rally. The problem is, the rally organizers have an anti-charter school agenda,” said North Carolina Association of Public Charter Schools’ Executive Dir. Rhonda Dillingham.

North Carolina is the latest in a wave of coordinated efforts to engage charter school teachers to abandon their classrooms and their students under the façade of solidarity. This is the fifth in a series of walk-outs and sick-outs being encouraged by the National Education Association (NEA). In this Reality Check, Jeanne Allen is joined by charter school advocates, Rhonda Dillingham and Pamela Blizzard, the founder of two highly innovative charter high schools to unpack the messaging and hidden union agenda.

 

May 14, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Darla Romfo

Darla Romfo is the president and COO of the Children’s Scholarship Fund. CSF provides partial scholarships for low-income children in grades K-8 to go to private school. CSF has provided scholarships to more than 166,000 children and currently serves almost 26,500 children nationwide. Ms. Romfo has served as CSF’s president and COO since the organization offered its first scholarships in 1999. Prior to joining CSF, her positions on Capitol Hill included legislative director and counsel to Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and legislative director and tax counsel to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) She’s also been an attorney in private practice. A frequent speaker on education and school choice, her vision is clear as CSF marks 20 years of making educational opportunity possible with thousands of new scholarships that empower families. “The real issue is that every parent should be able to decide for their kid what is the best option for them and to make that choice. And that money should follow them.”

 

May 9, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Sarah Tantillo

If there’s one person who’s been-there-done-that in the world of education, it’s teacher, author, scholar, advisor and sought-after speaker, Sarah Tantillo. She taught English and the humanities in both traditional public and charter schools in New Jersey for 14 years. She chaired the Humanities Department at the highly-regarded North Star Academy School in Newark, and her students achieved an extraordinary 100 percent passing rate on the High School Proficiency Assessment for Language Arts and Literacy. She founded both the New Jersey Charter Resource Center and the New Jersey Charter Public Schools Association. Her books include The Literacy Cookbook andLiteracy and the Common Core: Recipes for Action, with a new one out later this year about how the charter school concept became a national movement. She holds degrees from Princeton, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Rutgers.

 

May 7, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Eva Moskowitz

Eva Moskowitz is known as the CEO of Success Academy Network. With 50 campuses throughout New York City and more in development, she’s regarded as a charter school crusader, innovator and the architect of a revolution but it’s been a long contentious road. “I never felt before I got into education that I was living a Godfather movie,” says Eva – only half joking. Success Academy has been sued more than twenty times by unions. Union battles and political roadblocks have been a part of the landscape since she started her very first school with 150 kindergarteners and first-graders in 2006. But her passion is boundless and her commitment to educating not only her more than 100,000 students but parents and the general public through her book The Education of Eva Moskowitz. “We need everyone to be informed because the stakes are so high.”

 

April 30, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Laura Sandefur

Laura Sandefur is the co-founder of Acton Academy. She and her husband Jeff began with one school in Austin, Texas in 2009 initially motivated to give their children a different kind of education than they could find anywhere. They began as they say, “with a blank piece of paper” to build their dream school. Today, Acton Academy is a growing network of more than 80 innovative schools all over the world. Incorporating blended learning, Socratic discussions, multi-aged learning environments, hands-on real-world apprenticeships, adaptive game-based programs, and teachers who are referred to as “guides” Acton Academy’s rigorous program has literally turned learning upside down.

 

April 23, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Lenore Skenazy

“We’re criminalizing common sense and rationality and we’re elevating hysteria to not only the common good but also what you must be to be an ok parent.” How do we overcome this? Jeanne Allen’s guest Lenore Skenazy has made overcoming this hysteria her life’s work. And for it, she’s been labeled “America’s worst mom”! But in this episode of Reality Check, we’ll hear frank conversation about how an innocent solo train ride by her 9-year old son spawned a movement to allow kids to be more resilient and independent, beginning with a book and a blog entitled Free-Range Kids and now 10 years later, is still going strong through her new organization Let Grow – in schools, homes and communities across the country.

 

April 16, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is Managing Partner of ReThink Education, a venture capital firm focused on educational technology. He is on the boards of BrightBytes, Allovue, CareAcademy and Southern New Hampshire University. His non-profit affiliations include the leadership council of NewSchools Venture Fund and the board of Mouse.org. But Matt mostly thinks of his role as a problem solver. “As an investor, I start with solving a problem.” He wrote the business plan for the step-by-step modules for behavioral therapy in the treatment of autism which became “Rethink Autism”—now simply “Rethink.”

With a background in academia and educational technology, he insists there’s more to moving students toward their goals and ultimately a career path, “It’s not just technology but a respect for students,” Greenfield asks, “Does it delight and engage the students?”

 

April 10, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: A Nation Still at Risk

In 1983, President Reagan urged students to understand the new world in which they lived: “Your generation is coming of age in one of the most challenging and exciting times in our history. High technology is revolutionizing our industries, renewing our economy and promising new hope and opportunity in the years ahead . . .”

“Make sure you get the training and skills you need to take advantage of [these] new opportunities… Get a good education. That’s the key to success. It will open your mind and give wings to your spirit.”

On the eve of the 35th anniversary of the release of A Nation at Risk our students’ wings are clipped. National achievement has been stagnant for too many years, according to the results of the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress. It’s as if we’re in 1983 all over again, when A Nation at Risk declared that “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

The result then was a movement that catalyzed a nation into challenging the status quo. And yet, despite amazing progress creating the opportunities and changes in a tired system that have allowed millions of students to have education that they would not otherwise be able to access had it not been for this report, today’s education report card on the state of national reading and math are dismal. With fewer than 40 percent of our students proficient in any subject, these scores are a sobering reminder that we remain a nation at risk with far too many children and young adults poorly educated, unprepared to enter college or the workforce, and ultimately, unable to achieve the American Dream of living a rewarding, prosperous life.

Listen now to this special edition of Reality Check, as Jeanne Allen shares her insights and analysis of the trends and challenges we face if the nation’ does not transform how—and what—we do to educate learners at all levels.

 

April 9, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Robert Pondiscio

Robert Pondiscio is a senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a senior advisor to Democracy Prep Public Schools in Harlem, New York. He writes and speaks extensively on education and education reform issues with an emphasis on literacy, curriculum, teaching and urban education. He came to the field of education as a second career and never intended to stay. He has become one of its most passionate spokespersons for reform and innovation. “I have a complicated relationship with testing and accountability.”

 

March 26, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: John Schilling

John Schilling is the President and CEO of the American Federation for Children, which was chaired by Betsy DeVos until she became Secretary of Education last year. John is a veteran of more than two decades in the field of education reform. “Choice works,” he says. “When you put parents in the driver’s seat, you find that giving parents the power to find the best educational environment for their child means that you’re going to give options to a lot of kids who don’t have them right now and really need them.” John Schilling is Jeanne Allen’s guest in this edition of Reality Check, a National Review podcast focusing on education issues.

 

March 12, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Carl Schramm

If there’s one thing that America’s public schools could use, it’s the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. This week’s guest on Reality Check with Jeanne Allen is Carl Schramm, former president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, who found himself spending many years studying what really makes a business succeed. The title of his new book, Burn the Business Plan, rips apart one of the most cherished assumptions in the world of business schools. As a professor at Syracuse, he’s seen it all, and his experience brings him to a lot of unconventional ways of thinking. Under his leadership, the Kauffman Foundation became the first grant-making foundation to own and operate its own charter school. Learn what allows some to succeed and some to fail in this Reality Check.

 

February 26, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Mark Mix

Can a private organization force someone to pay them to speak on his or her behalf? That’s the question before the U.S. Supreme Court as it hears oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME on Monday, February 26. The case may well mean the end of mandatory dues under agency shop agreements, the major source of funds for public employee unions, including the teachers’ unions which have a stranglehold on the nation’s public schools. This week’s guest on Reality Check with Jeanne Allen is Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which represents Mark Janus, the plaintiff in the case. Learn all about one of the most important Supreme Court cases of the year on this edition of Reality Check.

 

February 12, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Robert Enlow

This week’s guest on Reality Check with Jeanne Allen is Robert Enlow, the president of EdChoice, which was founded two decades ago as the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Enlow, once a man of the left, now devotes his life to making Friedman’s vision of equal educational opportunity for all a reality.

 

January 29, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Gerard Robinson

This week’s edition of Reality Check with Jeanne Allen features a discussion with Gerard Robinson, whose career includes running the education departments of not just one but two states, and a passion for focusing on the nexus between criminal justice reform and education. From Historically Black Colleges and Universities and his work at the Thurgood Marshall Fund, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Center for Advancing Opportunity, there are probably few education experts in America who have a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities that await education reformers today than Gerard Robinson.

 

January 22, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: National School Choice Week

This is National School Choice Week, and so this week we have a special hour-long edition of Reality Check with Jeanne Allen with a constellation of guests. You’ll hear interviews with some of the brightest lights in the school choice world, including Johnny Taylor and Sylvia Simms, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Senator Ted Cruz, and House members Paul Mitchell, Virginia Foxx and Luke Messer. You’ll also hear from some of the beneficiaries of school choice tell their heartwarming personal stories, including Denisha Merriweather and Walter Banks. Get excited about school choice this week, with Jeanne Allen!

 

January 15, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Tom Carroll

The major tax reform law that passed Congress in mid-December 2017 included a provision expanding the use of so-called 529 plans—tax free savings accounts that allow parents to put away money for their children’s college education. Now, they can be used for elementary and secondary education too. In this week’s Reality Check with Jeanne Allen, Thomas Carroll, a leader in the effort to include the measure in the tax bill, explains why it’s so important: “it’s the first time that a national school choice measure has been adopted [at the federal level] in the past 20 years.” Carroll knows what he’s talking about—he helped create New York’s charter school law and founded a network of high-performing urban charter schools.

 

January 8, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Why Is College So Expensive?

Why has a college education become so expensive, throwing millions of students into debt before they’ve even entered the work force? This week’s Reality Check with Jeanne Allen explores that and related issues with John Katzman, one of he nation’s leading experts in higher education. “Technology in every other industry has lowered costs,” Katzman points out. But “in higher ed, it’s actually raised costs.” Moreover, “The reality is that education has gotten more expensive, but not the teaching part. The actual teaching is about 20 percent of what a school spends on a student.” For more, check out this week’s podcast on education with Jeanne Allen.

 

January 1, 2018

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: A Solid BASIS

Guest: BASIS co-founder Michael Block (@BASISed)

This week’s Reality Check with Jeanne Allen features a discussion of the extraordinary 20 year history of http://www.basisschools.org/”>BASIS Schools with co-founder Michael Block, who launched their international network of schools with his wife Olga back in 1998. From a single school in Tucson, Arizona BASIS has now grown to more than 30 schools which set the pace for private, public and charter schools alike. “Very early on,” he says, they “recognized that hard work and perseverance and failure is important. The ability to learn from your failures is really very important.” Today, four of the top five high schools in the United States are BASIS Schools. Listen to find out how they did it!

 

December 26, 2017

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: No Two Brains Are Alike

Guest: Ulrik Juul Christensen (@juulchristensen)

No two brains are alike. Every teacher knows that children all learn differently, and yet our schools are designed to teach them all the same way. In this week’s Reality Check with Jeanne Allen, one of the world’s leading experts in Adaptive Learning explains how it’s changing training in the workplace, and how it can help schools too. Area 9 Learning CEO Ulrik Juul Christensen, medical doctor and entrepreneur, explores the way computer science is meeting cognitive neuroscience at the cutting edge of educational theory.

 

December 14, 2017

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: Democrats for School Choice

Guest: Joe Nathan (@JoeNathan9249)

In this podcast, Reality Check with Jeanne Allen features a discussion with guest Joe Nathan, Director of the Center for School Change in St. Paul, Minnesota. Joe has been at the cutting edge of the education choice movement in America, and he helped write the nation’s first charter school law. He’s a prime example of the wide philosophical range of those who embraced choice at the very beginning in the early 1990s. He describes himself as a “Paul Wellstone Democrat” who’s been making common cause with political conservatives in creating real choices and opportunities for lower-income children for whom a good education will changes their lives. Other information referenced on the podcast:

Joe Nathan, Ph.D., helped write the nation’s first charter public school law. Legislators and governors in more than 25 states have asked him to testify and provide information about chartering and other school improvement issues. Nathan has spent the last 44 years as a public school teacher, administrator, parent, researcher and advocate. Parent, student and professional groups have given him a variety of awards for his work as an inner city public school teacher and administrator. For nearly 30 years, he has written a weekly newspaper column in Minnesota focusing on education issues. Since 1988, Nathan has directed the Center for School Change. The Center works at the school, community and policy levels. More about Joe at the Center for School Change…

 

December 12, 2017

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: The Associated Press Is Wrong

Guest: Howard Fuller (@HowardLFuller)

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen is a weekly NRO Podcast about transforming education in America. Jeanne is the founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform in Washington, and she’s been on the front lines of the battle for educational choice for more than 25 years. On her first podcast, she talks with Howard Fuller, a professor of education at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and a former Superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools who’s a pioneer in school choice. Among other things, they discuss a new AP “analysis” which purports to show that charter schools “put growing numbers in racial isolation.”

 


Reality Check in the news and online:

Introducing Reality Check with Jeanne Allen | National Review The Corner  Jeanne Allen | December 15, 2017   More…