School Choice: The Next Civil Rights Movement

As discussed over the past few weeks, parents are willing to go to jail to get their children in a better schoolparents stand in long lines for a shot at a voucher to allow their child into a school of their choice;parents have taken over schools; and even students have gotten part time jobs to pay for a better education.  However, the education bureaucracy continues to fight efforts to allow parents to choose their child’s school.  This defiance continues to trap children into failing or under performing schools.

Below are some disturbing statistics compiled by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation:

  • For African-American and Hispanic students across the country, dropout rates are close to 40 percent, compared to the national average of 27 percent. (EPE, 2012)
  • Two out of three eighth-graders can’t read proficiently and most will never catch up. (NAEP, 2011) (NAEP, 2011)
  • Nearly two-thirds of eighth-graders scored below proficient in math. (NAEP, 2011)
  • Seventy-five percent of students are not proficient in civics. (NAEP, 2011)
  • Nearly three out of four eighth-and 12th-grade students cannot write proficiently. (NAEP, 2012)
  • Some 1.1 million American students drop out of school every year. (EPE, 2012)
  • After World War II, the United States had the #1 high school graduation rate in the world. Today, we have dropped to # 22 among 27 industrialized nations. (OECD, 2012)
  • American students rank 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading compared to students in 27 industrialized countries.(OECD, 2012)
  • By the end of the eighth-grade, U.S. students are two years behind in math compared to their peers in other countries. (OECD, 2009)
  • American students tend to perform worse in math and science as they age, according to recent studies measuring fourth- and eighth-graders’ academic achievement against other industrialized nations. Gaps with high performing countries like North Korea and Singapore are widening. (TIMSS, 2012)

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The American Dream: Overcoming the Education Bureaucracy

As discussed previously, parents are willing to face jail time and heavy fines for attempting to get their children a quality education. This time we will discuss a teen who took it upon himself to overcome the education bureaucracy trying to trap him in a failing school.

rontrell_edited-aSouth Carolina schools ranks at the bottom for student SAT scores. It’s graduation rate ranks 48th nationally and hundreds of thousands of students are trapped in failing schools. Rontrell Matthews, 16, decided he wanted a better education for himself instead of staying trapped in his failing school. He was so determined to get a better education that he got job a job making sandwiches at Subway. When he got his first paycheck of $32.86, he went straight to Capers Preparatory Christian Academy and handed the check to them and told them he wanted to attend their school. The school accepted Rontrell and he excelled in his new school.

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The American Dream Starts With a Quality Education

People from around the world come to the United States for a better life. They understand the greatness and uniqueness to our country and want to live the American Dream. A quality education is the starting point for their children to obtain the American Dream.

There are many stories of parents who will do whatever it takes to make sure their children have access to a quality education. There are some that even are willing to go to jail. Let’s look at a couple of examples from around the country.

garciaHamlet and Olesia Garcia in Lower Moreland, PA were arrested and charged with Education Fraud (stealing services) of $10,752.81 in August 2012. Their crime, using Olesia’s father’s address so their 5 yr old could attend a better school than the one in Philadelphia. The Garcia family has offered to pay the tuition, but the school district has refused opting for prosecution.

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