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Factsheet #73 on Education

October 22, 2010

After Waiting for Superman: Take Action

Waiting Long Enough for Superman

  • America’s Education System Is Broken: In many of the nation’s largest cities, fewer than half of all children graduate high school. Academic achievement and graduation rates have stagnated since the 1970s while countries around the world now outpace the United States.
  • Now Is the Time Push for Smart Reforms: The problem has been diagnosed. Now is the time to push for reforms that finally empower parents and children, not the education establishment. Be a part of the solution.
  • School Choice: Along with the successful charter schools portrayed in Waiting for Superman, school choice through vouchers, tax credits, online learning, and homeschooling provide parents with a wide range of educational options for their children.

Be a Part of the Solution

  • Empower Yourself With the Facts About School Choice: Find out more about school choice at Choices in Education. Visit VoicesOfSchoolChoice.org to meet families whose lives have been changed through school choice. Listen to Virginia Walden Ford, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice, give her take on Waiting for Superman. Visit Heritage.org to learn about how unions stifle innovation.
  • US Department of Education Budgets Remain Historically High Tell Your Story: Write an op-ed or letter to the editor of your local paper about your experiences with the failure of public schools. Do you know someone who has benefited from school choice, either via a state or local program, or through private charity? Parents and students are a powerful force in putting a face on education reform. Talk to reporters, call a local radio show, or speak up at a town-hall meeting.
  • Reach Out to Your Community: Reach out to community groups, church groups, and alternative schools. Attend local events and volunteer with other organizations. Get to know community leaders. Sponsor local events like parent meetings to raise awareness for your cause and build your network of parents and allies.
  • Become a Resource: Become a resource of information for other parents and organizers. Post flyers, gather contact information, and equip interested community members with the information they need so they know what to do next to support your local school choice movement. For more advice on starting a grassroots movement in your community, pick up Virginia Walden Ford’s activism how-to guide Voices, Choices and Second Chances.

Take Action

  • Host an Education Reform Film Festival: Waiting for Superman comes on the heels of other moving documentaries on the plight of American education, including The Heritage Foundation’s Let Me Rise. These films are powerful ways to educate communities on the problems of public schools and successful solutions like school choice.
  • Call for State Leadership on Education Reform: States should be the leaders on education reform. Contact Heritage to order bookmarks with a checklist for how to turn the corner on education reform in your state. Hand out bookmarks to neighbors and other concerned citizens.
  • Join Forces for School Choice Week: Sign up to get information on National School Choice Week, January 23–29, 2011. School choice proponents from across the country will host events and place a spotlight on the benefits of school choice for all families.

For more information, please visit Heritage.org.

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