Editor’s note: As redefinED enters its second year of publication, it has joined an alliance with the American Center for School Choice. Its first post comes from Fawn Spady, the Center’s chairwoman, and Stephen D. Sugarman, its vice chairman.
Today the American Center for School Choice begins its exciting partnership with redefinED in a joint effort to focus attention on the importance of empowering parents with the authority to educate their children. The mission of the American Center for School Choice, advocating expansion of public support for families to choose the schools they believe will best serve their children, is rooted in two basic propositions:
- The education of the child is a fundamental responsibility of the family
- Enabling parents to choose the school that will best help them to fulfill this responsibility will strengthen families, schools, and communities
The American Center supports the work of the many fine organizations advocating for education reform based on expanding the power of consumers in the educational marketplace and the need for greatly improved academic outcomes. The movement has won significant political victories, but also experienced many defeats.
Our organization’s name was intentionally selected because we believe a strong political center and consequently a broad coalition for school choice exists in a focus on parental empowerment. In placing families first, the Center’s perspective creates a unique and powerful opportunity to expand support for school choice to include greater numbers of political centrists, religious leaders, social justice advocates, and ordinary citizens who are either uninformed or uninspired by current educational reform debates.
Ultimately, we need to create and support good schools of all types to serve the diversity of our population’s needs. We want to deepen public understanding of the benefits, costs and design requirements of a full range of school choice opportunities, including inter- and intra-district choice of public schools, choice through public charter schools, and choice of private and religious schools through publicly funded scholarship and tax credit programs. The American Center for School Choice believes that expanding support for families to choose public, private, or religious schools for their children is a civic and moral imperative.
The Center’s primary activity is education. All families, but especially low-income parents and students who have not been well served historically, benefit when they select the school that they believe will best serve their children. The Center has utilized a variety of media and forums to provide information and analyses to deepen public understanding of the benefits, costs and design requirements of a full range of school choice opportunities. In partnering with redefinED, we have found a kindred spirit where great synergy exists.
Our board, associates, and staff will be regularly contributing their thoughts on where we are, where we hope to go next, and how best to get there. In addition to us, you will hear from Jack Coons, Charles Glenn, Gloria Romero, Terry Moe, Darla Romfo, Alan Bonsteel, Rick Garnett, and others in our network. We all look forward to joining and stimulating ongoing thoughtful and respectful exchanges that have marked redefined since its beginning.