In his first-ever State of the Union address in 2009, President Obama said:
"That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education, from the day they are born to the day they begin a career. That is a promise we have to make to the children of America."
But in 2014, there are still too many students who do not have access to a quality education, and too many parents unable to choose what's best for their child.
Less than forty percent of fourth and eighth graders are proficient in math and reading, at a time when not enough elected officials are focused on the types of reforms that achieve true choice and accountability in schools.
When speaking in prior State of the Union addresses, Mr. Obama has often spoke of the rights available to Americans, whether in the context of modern society or in our founding documents. But now it's time to apply that sentiment to education, and the inherent right of parents and students to choose the education that provides the best chance of success.
School choice is an issue that enjoys tri-partisan support, meaning it definitely has the potential to garner applause from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Similar to previous years, it's essential through policy and rhetoric to motivate state and local lawmakers to strengthen charter school laws, expand opportunity scholarships, and allow for increased accountability and access to data about schools.
Tonight, President Obama will again deliver the State of the Union address, during which we hope he frames education within the context of civil rights, and calls for bold leadership at all levels of government to enact critical reforms that will help reach the goal his administration laid out five years ago.
#SCW & #SOTU?
Coincidence or not, National School Choice Week occurs annually around the same time the president gives his State of the Union address. Seventy-four percent of Americans support school choice, and the facts on school choice reveal that it's a policy prescription that's here to stay. Our leaders need to get with the program and put policies in place that put kids first. If you're in DC, rally with us to Put Kids First TOMORROW at Friendship Chamberlain Elementary school at 10am as part of National School Choice Week. If you're not in DC but looking to celebrate National School Choice Week, there are over 5,500 events to choose from going on nationwide throughout the week!
STATE OF AMERICA'S CHARTER SCHOOLS.
How fitting that during National School Choice Week and the State of the Union address that our latest Survey of America's Charter Schools is ready to be unveiled this Thursday. Performed since 1996, this analysis offers a comprehensive look at charter school size and scope, demographics, finance and operations, and academic programs. This most recent analysis offers trends over time and insight as to why these independent schools are in such high demand. Stay tuned.
Editor's note: This the latest weekly report on education news and commentary you won't find anywhere else, spiced with a dash of irreverence, from the nation's leading voice in school reform.