Newswire – August 18, 2020


School bells — or the ping of a laptop or tablet — will soon be heard throughout the country. As we watch the last few days of August disappear, we’ll do our part to get you ready for the very different school experience just about everyone is going to have.

MONEY FOLLOW KIDS? How radical is the notion that if money spent for education is NOT being spent on education then it should be spent on education?

This week Arizona teachers staged a sick out at one district, and the planning session to do so from the top of the union power echelon was leaked to the press. They know they can’t strike, so they just told teachers to call in sick. They will be doing so other times this week and throughout the month. Okay, fine. So give education money to the parents while you’re trying to figure it out. That’s What Parents Want, say three parent activist leaders from three diverse states, Arizona, Massachusetts and Texas. Together they represent more than 200,000 parents who are telling us regularly that they want equity, they want safety and they want great education. They will figure it out themselves. Hear more on Reality Check this week or watch our Back To School Virtual Event – What Parents Want.

PAUL PROVIDES POWER TO PARENTS.  US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to codify a path toward empowering parents to do precisely what parents want. The School Act, would allow federal funds for K-12 education to follow the eligible child to the school of their choice for learning in person or remotely . While perhaps not the ultimate “silver bullet,” should this become law it would cure many of the ailments affecting education today and most are conditions that pre-exist COVID.

PARENT POWER RALLY ONLINE. Parents know best what their kids need. We know you are experiencing unprecedented struggles as schools figure out what to do to serve your students. Tell us what you think each week about your experience by answering a simple prompt on our Facebook page now through August 24. Every week we will be giving away a new MacBook to ONE of the parents who shares their thoughts on education. So please head on over to the discussion area now!

REAL CLEAR CER. Our thanks to the good folks at the website Real Clear Education for their article on CER, our history and our programs today as we endeavor to, as they put it, “preserve the American Dream”. The “Real Clear” websites, covering topics including politics, education, history, religion, sports and over a dozen others, are invaluable “one stop shopping” sites for anyone wanting a quick, concise way to keep up to the minute on any of these areas. Give it a look.

NEW STUDY ON SCHOOL, Perhaps one reason for the shift mentioned above is the growing realization of the real harm closing schools has on those most affected — the students. Adding to the alarming information is a just released study from a Harvard University researcher showing that a year off from school will depress students’ academic outcomes and decrease their future earnings by 10 percent for life. A sad new meaning to a life sentence without parole.

NURSE SAYS TEACHERS ARE ESSENTIAL, TOO. A true front-line soldier in the fight against COVID, a nurse who took care of COVID-19 patients at her hospital while her teacher husband jumped between teaching on Zoom and helping their daughters through their own lessons writes a well reasoned column filled with first-person observations. Her main point is that schools are essential to the functioning of society, and that makes teachers essential workers.

SHIFTING TIDES. For more on the points raised above, read Jeanne Allen’s latest at Forbes on the national tide of opinion shifting in favor of providing more options to parents. The shift — which crosses partisan lines — is a major development and perhaps an encouraging sign that common sense is beginning to take hold in the debate.

We’re now past the Ides of August and two weeks away from Labor Day. Yikes! Preparing for the new school year — whatever variations that brings — is likely taking more and more of your time.  Our hope though is that you have at least a few relaxing moments and find time to sing in the sunshine and laugh every day.  And in the meantime remember we’re here to help — so just ask.

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education. We’re always delighted to hear from our readers…suggestions, questions and even the occasional complaint!