That is the number of events around the country that are already registered for National School Choice Week in January of 2013. Just to put the growth of the celebration in perspective: last year we had a wonderful 406 events… total! At this rate…who knows???
The point is that choosing a school - rather than simply agreeing to be assigned to a school – is fast becoming the norm. But it won’t be fast enough until every family has a realistic ability to choose an excellent school. School Choice Week exists to celebrate that rapid advance of this simple, powerful vision…that American education will offer every child in the country a number of excellent choices, that parents will be given great information about their options, and EVERY family will be able to choose the best school for their child.
And let’s not forget about teacher choice. School choice is not just about students, it is about transforming the profession of teaching so that educators can teach in a school that matches their expertise and their vision for what an excellent school looks like. Today, far too many teachers are assigned to schools in as blind a fashion as we assign students. That cannot continue.
409 is a good start…. But is is ONLY a start. Go to www.schoolchoiceweek.com and join in what is already the nation’s largest education celebration. You can do anything from planning a major rally to hosting a quiet evening with friends to discuss what education options your community offers. You will see plenty of ideas for events on the site, and then you choose…obviously.
School Choice Week is a VERY public, VERY visible, and VERY upbeat celebration. You will love being part of it…and together, we are too big to ignore.
If you check out Derrell Bradford's second appearance here on the CoffeeBreakthrough and our Home Page at Breakthrough, you will understand the very high premium our school choice community places on self expression.
And this issue of who we are and what we value has been dancing around my head since Derrell sent me his "rule-breaking" photos earlier this week…by all means, hit the link and travel to D"s matching tie. Gentleman, it's on.
I had a further encounter with the power of personal style driving with my kids through our son's new neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, which is by far the most exciting part of the city for me. It was kind of a scary place when I was younger, neglected and overrun by anonymous buildings and abandoned homes.
Today, it is a genuinely hip village of sorts, with a bounty of very small restaurants, coffee houses, artist galleries, local markets and apartment homes. This is not a place built by the numbers; it is a collection of individual and artistic efforts, where you feel surrounded by others who value the sense of place they have created.
I told my kids that this kind of energized revitalization, driven by gifted artists and visionary community members, reflected my highest aspirations for a new day in education. We had just driven by one of the state's best schools, the Arizona School for the Arts, which is happily nestled in this section of town, directly across from the Phoenix Art Museum.
As we drove by, we discussed how ironic it is that excellence, high art, and unique expression…all of which are the hallmarks of a great education…have been wrung from so much of our one-size-fits-all school system. The irony begets a discussion longer than the CoffeeBreakthrough blog can support, but the simultaneous push for school choice and shared academic standards has been a confusing issue for many. To cut to the chase on this…standards should support highly diverse and creative schools in the same way that the foundations of any structure support a myriad of architectural styles and purposes.
What a gift it will be when many more great teachers who understand this duality reclaim the unique art and excellence of their profession by starting their own schools.
Speaking of which, check out Arizona Charter Schools Association's "Charter Starter" program…and pass it on to a gifted teacher in the hopes they will be inspired to bring their own style to the brave new world of school choices.
And break a few rules in the process.Read more Breakthrough Blogs
The Arizona Charter Schools Association is a membership and professional
organization providing the best in comprehensive support and services to Arizona's charter
schools. The Association's Charter Starter Program trains and coaches teams in developing a quality charter school that meets the needs of its community, improves student achievement, and maintains a high level of performance throughout its existence. The Program is designed to provide direct guidance to a small cohort of development teams through a series of comprehensive trainings, individualized consulting, and guidance from charter experts.
Learn more here!
Download - On June 24th, Seth Leibsohn spoke with Lisa Graham Keegan on the Bill Bennett Show about Education Reform and School Choice. [17MB mp3 - Right click and choose "Save Link As..." or on a Mac, Ctrl click and choose "Download Linked File"]
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