Thursday, January 10, 2013

D+? Parent Empowerment Through School Choice

Students First released a state policy report card this past Wednesday, evaluating each state's education laws and policies.  Although the report provides critical feedback for systemic changes both state and nationwide, the report is especially relevant for parents and educators in Rhode Island

Rhode Island scored a C+ overall, gaining points for standardizing the evaluation of teachers, creating alternative pathways for certification and prioritizing teacher/educator effectiveness. You can read the full report here.  States were judged in three categories: "Elevate Teaching," "Empower Parents," and "Spend Wisely & Govern Well." 

Although overall, Lil' Rhody held its own at #5 on the list, just below D.C., Indiana, Florida and Louisiana, it received a D+ in the category of parent empowerment.  

That's not a grade worth posting to the fridge. 

Like any good parent/teacher/educator/policymaker/leader/human, we look for how to improve. The report suggests three steps, one of which is to increase the amount of high-quality school choice options and provide comparable resources for all public options. 

Blackstone Valley Prep works hard to be a high-quality choice for the families of Pawtucket, Cumberland, Central Falls and Lincoln, and we continue to improve our  outreach efforts in those communities.  At this time, the lottery application has been open for about 11 weeks, and already approximately 300 more applications have been submitted  compared to last year's overall total.  The application will not close until March 1.  

A great way to advocate for high-quality school options is to celebrate the upcoming School Choice Week starting on January 27, a nationwide movement to bring awareness to the need for effective education options for all children. BVP is celebrating by hosting school tours all week, culminating in open houses at all three of our schools on Saturday, February 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

But what else can you do?

  1. Put a dent in that D+ by spreading the word, volunteering your time, and advocating for school choice in RI.  
In need of some inspiration to get you started? 
  1. Watch the video below to hear BVP Parent Tracey Dann talk about the importance of knowing your options.
  2. Reach out on facebook, twitter (#gotcollege), however/whenever, and tell us YOUR school choice story.  

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