Complementary messages in new school choice videos

Two new parental choice videos offer messages that work well in tandem. The first, released today by the American Federation for Children, pushes back hard against the paternalistic attitudes that some in the education establishment have towards parents who want more choice. “Enough is enough,” it says. “It’s time to stand up for our kids.” The video includes a snippet from St. Petersburg, Fla. mom Shannon Coates: “I have the right as a parent to choose the best school that I feel fits for my child.”

The second video, released yesterday by the 60,000-strong Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, offers a gentler message: Public and private schools are not rivals. And strengthening their “symbiotic relationship” can give families more options to help their kids.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at

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