By: Sandy Smith
As I settle back into a normal routine after the State Policy Network (SPN) Annual Meeting, I reflect on time well spent in Grand Rapids. The Friedman Foundation’s pre-conference session on accountability and school choice was a wonderful way to bring school choice advocates together at the beginning of the week. During Tuesday morning’s breakfast session, Jeff Sandefer challenged us to ask ourselves the question, “Have I contributed something meaningful?” One of the morning breakout sessions drove home the fact that we fight for people, not things or ideas.
The annual lunchtime presentation of the Unsung Hero Award recognizes ordinary folks for extraordinary work. This year’s recipient inspired us with lessons she has learned. “If you want to fail,” she told us, “spend your time complaining instead of doing.” I walked away from the session thinking of our own unsung heroes—the parent leaders of PublicSchoolOptions.org who have chosen to take action—to fight for what is best for their own children, for children in their states and for children across the nation.
Peder, Robbie, Lauren and I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with folks who stopped by to see us in the exhibit hall. If you missed us, and want to connect with your state coalition, check out our website. This year’s SPN meeting, once again, brought groups from around the country together to engage on relevant topics, including education. I came away energized and looking forward to working with others who share our goals. Our focus should not be school buildings or school districts; our work should be about what is best for each child. Then we can say we have contributed something meaningful.