Dr. Howard Fuller on School Choice & Presidential Politics

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Cara and Bob talk with the great Dr. Howard Fuller, Distinguished Professor of Education, in this week’s Newsmaker Interview, about his passionate activism on behalf of education reform, his concerns about the lack of support among Democratic presidential candidates for charter schools, the power of teacher unions, and recognition of the need to continue organizing and advocating for school choice programs that benefit so many poor and minority children.

Stories of the Week: A year after the U.S Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME ruling, the AFT, a major urban teachers union, is reporting a 4 percent loss in membership. Will the losses continue in coming years, and will this impact their influence? In Massachusetts, U.S. officials have found that the state education department has violated federal law by denying Catholic and Jewish schools $120 million in IDEA aid they were owed for special education services over the past 5 years (see Pioneer research). In Virginia, a high school is requiring students to reflect on their “privilege” in a course on combatting intolerance – but are they being too selective about which forms of “privilege” to include?

Commentary of the Week: Bob highlights an article by Kerry McDonald of the Foundation for Economic Education, “The Strongest Support for School Vouchers Comes from Lower-Income Families.” @kerry_edu @feeonline 

Tweet of the Week: Cara applauds a story by @RedefineEd‘s @RonMatus1 on how Miami-Dade’s school district is embracing innovation and change:

Newsmaker Interview Guest: Dr. Howard Fuller is the Distinguished Professor of Education and Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning (ITL) at Marquette University. Dr. Fuller has many years in both public service positions and the field of education, including Superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools and Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. As Director of the ITL, Dr. Fuller supports education options that transform learning for children, while empowering families, particularly those of low-income, to choose the best school options. Dr. Fuller holds a B.S. degree from Carroll College, an M.S.A. degree from Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. from Marquette University.

Dr. Fuller tweets at @HowardLFuller and you can get his book, No Struggle No Progress: A Warrior’s Life from Black Power to Education Reform.

News links for Stories of the Week:

AFT Teachers Union Has Lost 76,000 Members over the Last Year, Translating to $18M Loss in Dues

Mass. public schools violated law by denying Catholic, Jewish schools aid for special education, US officials say (See Pioneer research)

Students at Virginia School Learn to ‘Acknowledge Their Privilege’ in Combating Intolerance Class