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This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Andrew Campanella, the president of National School Choice Week. They discuss why 2021 was called the “Year of School Choice,” and the implications of more academic options for K-12 education reform across America. They delve into the reasons why political support for even the highest performing charter public schools has eroded, the path forward to rebuild wider coalitions, and why for-profit school management companies for charters are so controversial. Andrew offers insights on innovative models that thrived during the pandemic, including micro-schools and learning pods, lessons we can draw from digital and blended learning, and how state policymakers have responded, in some cases with restrictive measures to undermine these models. Lastly, they discuss the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in favor of school choice advocates in the landmark Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue decision, the follow-on Carson v. Makin case, and its likely impact.
Related: Read Cara Candal’s new report for Pioneer Institute, “Modeling an Education Savings Account for Massachusetts.”
Stories of the Week: New York City has made incredible progress over the past three decades in improving public school students’ academic performance and graduation rates, thanks in large part to innovations such as charter schools and other, smaller high school models. West Virginia’s Hope Scholarship education savings account program is in jeopardy as a result of a lawsuit alleging it violates the state constitution because it “depletes the funding to public schools.”
Andrew Campanella serves as president of National School Choice Week, the nation’s largest public awareness effort for K-12 education. With the goal of informing parents of their school choice options, Andrew and the NSCW team work with more than 21,000 schools annually—along with thousands of organizations and homeschooling groups. Under Andrew’s leadership, NSCW has experienced remarkable growth, from 150 events and activities in 2011 to more than 40,000 in 2019. Andrew’s book is The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child. Previously, he worked in senior level positions at the American Federation for Children, the Alliance for School Choice, and the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. He grew up in New Jersey, graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Florida. Find him at: @andrewrcamp https://www.andrewrcamp.com
The next episode will air on Weds., February 2nd, with guest, Dr. Jennifer Frey, an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America.
Tweet of the Week:
We need sustainable, effective inputs that lead to measurable improvements in student achievement… Title I is an annual funding stream for schools that serve disadvantaged students… We hope Congress follows through on @POTUS commitment to triple Title I. https://t.co/dT0Fq0kElj
— Nina Rees (@Ninacharters) January 23, 2022
Jay Mathews: Shockingly good news about New York City public high schools
Lawsuit could delay rollout of West Virginia’s Hope Scholarship Program
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