Celebrating School Choice Week: Removing Know-Nothing/Blaine Barriers to School Choice

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On Day 5, the final day of National School Choice Week, we’re focusing on the need to overcome the Know-Nothing/Blaine legal obstacles that prevent largely poor and minority students from accessing equal educational opportunities.

In nearly 40 states (see yellow states on map), the most severe barriers to school choice are antiquated, nativist constitutional amendments that block children from educational options that wealthy families can pursue through parochial and private schooling. Pioneer has held numerous forums and published research, op-eds, public opinion poll results, and videos showing the opportunities for greater school choice, which you can review below.

Stay tuned! Pioneer Institute is busy filming an exciting new documentary that features the stories of families in states across America that are struggling to overcome the Know-Nothing/Blaine legacy, so that they can send their children to private and parochial schools. Watch for updates and highlights from this project!

We’ve been sharing school choice success stories all week – join in the conversation on Twitter, using #SchoolChoice.

National School Choice Week is an annual celebration of the variety of high-quality academic options available to families across the U.S. Each day this week at Pioneer Institute, we’ll be highlighting charter public schools, the METCO program, digital learning, vocational-technical schools, and independent and parochial schools.

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All Children Should Have Access To High Quality Education
By Tom Birmingham

Over the last century or more it would be difficult to understand Massachusetts without appreciating the central role that Catholic education has played in the commonwealth’s historical, political, economic, and cultural landscape. Of course, going back to the early-to-mid 19th century, Massachusetts’ Catholics dealt with infamous bigotry and intolerance, which find their worst expression in two so-called anti-aid amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution that block public dollars from going to private and religious school families.

Read more in The Pilot, The Salem News, The Eagle-Tribune, The Berkshire Eagle, the Fall River Herald News, The Taunton Daily Gazette, The Providence Journal, the New Bedford Standard-Times, and The Lowell Sun.


NECN: The Take with Sue O’Connell: “Should Gov. Gardner’s Portrait Be Moved?”
Why does the portrait of an anti-Catholic bigot hang in the State House? GUEST: Hon. Ray Flynn, former US Ambassador to the Vatican, reveals the dark side of a former MA governor.

Guest Opinion: Time to end Know-Nothing legacy once and for all

By Jamie Gass   |   March 22, 2016

“Who was so wild … [to think] that a party unheard of … with a self-chosen cognomen as ridiculous as satire itself could invent … would suddenly spring up … [and] absorb the elective strength of the state …?”

– William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, 1854

Last summer, South Carolina drew national media attention when its leaders removed the Confederate flag from its statehouse grounds. Here in Massachusetts, we prominently display bigoted symbols of the Know-Nothing Party in our statehouse and enthrone them in our state constitution; our symbols are even older than the Confederacy.

Read more in The Taunton Daily GazetteThe Lowell Sun,  Fall River Herald News, The MetroWest Daily Newsand The Springfield Republican.

Related Research

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