by Rose Fernandez
National Parent Network for Online Learning
School Choice Week, January 27 – Feb 2, is just around the corner. Hundreds of public activities will highlight the value of school choice for children all around the country.
On January 25, a Jonas Brothers concert in Phoenix will kick off the week. From there, a Whistle Stop Tour will take the message from Los Angeles to New York City with stops in 14 cities along the way. One of those stops is in my hometown of Milwaukee. My children’s statewide online charter school, the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, is one of the sponsors.
I plan to attend the Milwaukee event with other parents from our Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families. We know school choice firsthand. School choice is personal for our families because every day we see the difference our alternative schools make for our own kids. We’ve stood up, over and over again, for our schools when opponents in Madison and elsewhere set their sights on us. Through our advocacy, online instruction is included in our state teacher statutes and open enrollment is now available year round in Wisconsin public schools. Tens of thousands of children are the beneficiaries.
School Choice Week is a time to educate and celebrate. Many examples of how school choice changes lives will be shared and many supporters will be part of the public events.
Other families and teachers will be like some I’ve invited to join me at the Milwaukee event. They won’t be able to join the crowd. They won’t make a sign or go home with a School Choice Week yellow scarf. They will be busy doing what they do every day. They will be learning. They will contribute to School Choice Week in a humble way and by doing so demonstrate the dedication of choice families and teachers to getting the job done every day.
It is important to remember that the work of school choice is in our charter school classrooms and in our homes where children, teachers, and parents put in the effort every school day to help learners achieve. Maybe those busy learning will get a shout out, or better yet a whistle, along the Whistle Stop Tour.