This week in school choice: Organize!

We should all be paying attention to a charter school referendum in Massachusetts.

In short, Bay State charters, particularly those in Boston, are among the best in the nation at raising student achievement. But a legislative cap prevents them from growing to serve the tens of thousands of students on their waiting lists. Now a new group is taking the issue of raising the cap directly to voters.

Justin Cohen explains the takeaway.

[T]his is a good reminder to educators, particularly reformers, that politics matter. If results and demand were sufficient to win the argument, the unimpeachably good charters in Boston would be able to grow and flourish. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as politics, money, and power matter when talking about public schooling.

Those seeking educational change must continue to supplement their piercing logic with an imposing political ground game, which hopefully will mean creating even more room for parents and communities to take greater leadership over the education agenda.

In other words, he argues it’s time to organize. In Massachusetts, teachers unions already are.


New Orleans’ public school system will gradually return to unified, local, democratic control. Shavar Jeffries argues it’s time.

New Orleans’ public school system will gradually return to unified local school board control. Shavar Jeffries argues it’s time.

Louisiana teachers unions now have an ally in the governor’s mansion. What does that mean?

Local control vs equity. Or: Why money and students should be allowed to cross district lines.

Transportation remains a barrier to true school choice.

A debate inside the school choice tent, on education savings accounts.

Another one, on test scores and regulatory accountability.

Groups line up behind a Lutheran school taking aim at Blaine Amendments before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wealth gaps, achievement gaps, and urban school districts.

Denver grants more public schools greater autonomy.

Remembering the charter school pioneers.

Educators feel they’re shut out of policy debates.

Special education and charter school authorizing.

Now it’s St. Louis charters campaigning to #dropthesuit. (Sound familiar?)

School choice, innovation and reform fatigue.

Quote of the Week

“It’s clearly awoken … There is a political will you see in the incoming leadership; there is a fire burning. We’re headed in that direction and they’ll be a charge led from the top.”

-State Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, on the shape of what’s to come for school choice in Florida.

Tweet of the Week

This Week in School Choice is redefinED’s weekly roundup of national news related to educational options. It appears Monday mornings on the blog, but you can sign up here to get it Sunday. Did we miss something? Please send tips, links, suggestions and feedback to tpillow[at]sufs[dot]org.

And to all the moms out there, happy Mother’s Day!