Franklin Center Launches #AmplifyChoice Campaign

Franklin Center Launches Social Media-Based Platform to Promote National School Choice Week

Alexandria, Va.—Today, the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity launched #AmplifyChoice, an online campaign which will run for the duration of National School Choice Week. The website, AmplifyChoice.com, will serve as an aggregation hub to promote articles, opinion pieces, blog posts, and social media feeds from organizations, lawmakers, and individuals advocating for education reform.
“#AmplifyChoice will be a social media-based hub for school choice, compiling real-time data from school choice events across the country as well as offering resources and ways to get involved,” said Franklin Center Senior Vice President Erik Telford. “Our vision for #AmplifyChoice is that it will become the one-stop digital hub for National School Choice Week.”

#AmplifyChoice features live Twitter streams of selected school choice-related handles, sortable into categories, including organizations, lawmakers, and advocates. Other interactive elements of #AmplifyChoice include an Educating America section, featuring links to news articles, prominent blogs and resources for education reform. The site also features video updates from the National School Choice Week whistle-stop tour.

“We are thrilled to once again be taking part in National School Choice Week and helping to inform policy makers about the importance of giving parents a choice in their child’s education,” Telford said. “#AmplifyChoice will help take National School Choice Week to the next level and serve as a resource for those who want to get involved.”

Other Franklin Center activities this week will include a webinar with School Choice Wisconsin president Jim Bender, a tweet-up facilitated by State Policy Network, a Google Hangout with bloggers Breeanne Howe and Kira Davis as well as Arizona State Rep. Adam Kwasman, and a webcast conversation with education reform expert Grover Norquist. To learn more, visit AmplifyChoice.com.

For media inquiries, contact Michael Moroney at Michael.Moroney@franklincenterhq.org.

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is a leader in non-profit journalism. It was founded in 2009 to address falling standards in the media as well as a steep falloff in reporting on state government and provides professional training and assistance with a mission of exposing waste, fraud, and abuse in government.

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EDUCATION TALK RADIO GUEST TO HOST ASCD WEBINAR

On Thursday, January 30 from 3-4 pm,ASCD author Jeff Benson is hosting a webinar
 (webinar registration address: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/316137441    for ASCD that is related to, but not dependent on his  book Hanging In. The webinar will give a set of frameworks for how teams can organize their thinking, and develop interventions, to work with a challenging student.If you know anyone who might be interested, feel free to forward this email and the webinar registration
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AASA : America’s #1 Choice When it Comes to School Choice? Still Public Schools!

Next week (Jan. 27-31) is National School Choice Week, a campaign whose sponsors include proponents of vouchers, charters, magnets and other schools, though the real focus is on vouchers. When it comes to school choice and vouchers at AASA, we are deeply committed to supporting and strengthening the nation’s public schools, and have an absolute belief that public dollars are for public schools and equally strong opposition to vouchers.

We are very engaged in advocacy efforts to oppose federal education policy supporting vouchers. AASA is involved with the National Coalition for Public Education, a coalition of more than 50 education, civic, civil rights and religious organizations. NCPE brings these groups together in their common belief that maintaining strong public schools, which are open and nondiscriminatory in their acceptance of all students, is essential to preserving critical American values and ensuring our nation’s future economic prosperity. AASA’s Assistant Director for Policy & Advocacy, Sasha Pudelski, is co-chair of NCPE.

As part of School Choice week and as part of their ongoing efforts to push back on pro-voucher messaging, NCPE has assembled a set of anti-voucher/pro-public school resources that you can use:

The debate on school choice is about more than just opposing vouchers and our efforts center on supporting policy that strengthens public schools. Public school choice can be a good thing. The opportunity for choice to further strengthen schools only comes when all schools receiving public dollars—including charter and magnet schools—face the same reporting and accountability requirements as traditional schools. Conversely, any flexibility afforded to ‘choice’ schools taking public dollars should be available to all public schools: if it’s onerous and burdensome for charter schools, odds are it’s burdensome for traditional public schools.

Returning to the point of this post, though, I want to broaden the conversation on school choice and highlight that the nation’s public schools remain the top choice when it comes to educating more than 50 million students each year. Our public schools remain safe, neutral zones where all students can learn free of discrimination, schools that are open and committed to all children and accountable to tax payers. Bottom line, our public schools work:

The most recent PDK/Gallup Poll on the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools (Aug. 2013) found that 70 percent of Americans oppose private schools vouchers, the highest level of opposition to vouchers ever recorded in the survey. Public school parents continue to give very high grades to the schools their children attend, with nearly 75 percent of parents giving their school an A or a B. These parents agree that their children have a higher level of well-being because of the school they attend, that schools are doing a good job helping students strengthen relationships with family and friends, and that schools prepare students to be healthier and more engaged in their community.

In 2006, the National Center for Education Statistics found that public school students do as well as or better than their private school and charter school counterparts. These findings extended to students from low-income families. Among students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, public school 4th graders outperformed their charter school counterparts in reading and math.

NCES also reported that the high school dropout rate fell from 6.1 percent in 1972 to 3.4 percent in 2009. Between 2005 and 2011, there was an 11 percent reduction in the rate of students not graduating from high school in four years.

As the debate on school choice heats up next week, I share this post as a voice in support of the nation’s public schools, which remain the number 1 choice, a great option for families and communities across the country. There’s a reason more than 50 million students attend public schools every year, and its related to the important reality that public education is the cornerstone of democracy. Every student has the right to be educated, and that right cannot be infringed by race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, economic status or any other factor granted to them by the U.S. Constitution. Education is a civil right and superintendents, the schools they lead and the students they serve are uniquely positioned to prepare future generations for the opportunities before them.

Dan Domenech is the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.  

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NCSS’s  2014 Social Studies Advocacy Kick-off Webinar is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, January 29th from 3:00 – 4:00 pm East Coast time. Registration is free. To participate, just complete the registration form at: http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=965&evt=LEGIS1.  We encourage you to share this invitation with your colleagues and other networks.

For those of you unable to attend, this webinar will be archived and available for to view a few days after the actual live broadcast. A link will be shared through this distribution list.

We look forward to your participation!

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