Thursday, May 04, 2006

Stop Leaving Most Children Behind

Dr. Howard Fuller, a national leader in civil rights and school choice, is coming to Portland on May 23rd for an evening event to talk about why minority parents should not settle for school reforms offered by school districts.

Fuller was superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools when the nation's first voucher program was established in the early 1990's. Unlike most big city superintendents, Fuller embraced the voucher program and oversaw its implementation in Milwaukee.

Since the voucher program began, none of the opponents' scary scenarios have come to pass. The Milwaukee Public Schools spend more money per student, not less, than before the voucher. Student achievement has grown in BOTH the new voucher schools and the Milwaukee schools.

Fuller went on to become Chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the nation's leading minority school choice advocacy organization. He is dynamic, articulate and extremely intelligent. I've been lucky enough to have dealings with him on various initiatives.

His visit is part of a school choice project for the Jefferson High School attendance area spearheaded by my friend Matt Wingard. A week ago, the project released their analysis of the long history of failed reforms the Portland School District tried over the years.

The Oregonian's S. Renee Mitchell wrote this story about the project.

The Fuller event is May 23rd at 7:00 PM at the Emmanuael Temple Church, 1033 N. Sumner St. You can call (503) 242-0900 to learn more or to RSVP (requested but not required.)

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