Events Across the Nation Continue Until Mid-February
MUSKEGON, Mich., Jan. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the first-annual National School Choice Week (www.schoolchoiceweek.com) drawing to a close today, organizers say that parents and advocates are more energized than ever before to fight for enhanced educational options for all children.
Advocates said today that the excitement generated this week will translate into effective outreach by school choice supporters in states across the country, where policymakers are debating the need to provide children with access to better schools.
The reach of National School Choice Week has exceeded expectations. While final estimates are still being tallied, organizers say that tens of thousands of people participated in more than 150 events, with some events topping 1,000 participants. The events were organized by a diverse array of more than 200 organizations. Participants have demanded reform to the nation's well-funded but inadequate education system, where 1.2 million children drop out of school each year and American children are outpaced in literacy and math by children in 34 other countries.
At small house parties to major rallies at the state capitols of Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, a message of immediate educational change -- and immediate options for children -- was heard just as loudly as the bright yellow "National School Choice Week" scarves of advocates were seen by news cameras and onlookers.
In addition to events, which were held in 40 states and the District of Columbia, the governors of 10 states officially commemorated school choice week in their states. Governors from Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin officially announced 'school choice weeks' in their respective states, marking the first time in history that US governors have coalesced around the issue. In addition, celebrities -- including legendary performers Bill Cosby and Jon Secada -- joined the effort with their vocal support.
"We've seen everyone from parents and children to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives and beloved celebrities commemorate National School Choice Week and demand a better future for our children," said Kyle Olson, executive director of National School Choice Week. "The most important thing, however, is to take the excitement and enthusiasm that has been generated this week to create new educational opportunities for children across the country. All of us who are involved in National School Choice Week pledge not to rest until each child in our nation has access to the best schools possible. Failure and delay are not options."
According to pollster Frank Luntz -- who tested a National School Choice Week television advertisement on FOXNews this weekend, the messages used throughout the week -- that America cannot afford not to embrace educational choice -- resonate with people of all political parties. National School Choice Week was covered in nearly 1,000 news stories, ranging from articles in local papers to interviews on all major cable news networks.
To discover additional events taking place this weekend or in the next several weeks, visit www.SchoolChoiceWeek.com
SOURCE National School Choice Week