by Tillie Elvrum, President, PublicSchoolOptions.org
As 2017 comes to a close, I am grateful for many things – but near the top of my list is school choice.
Last week I attended Jeb Bush’s 2017 National Summit on Education Reform where over 1,000 education policymakers, advocates and lawmakers learned from those who have been in the thick of education policy-making across the country.
There were sessions about accountability, funding, special education, and personalized learning. But two sessions stood out to me the most: they keynote from Dr. Clayton Christensen and The Search for Opportunity: Real Faces of Education Choice.
Dr. Christensen’s remarks, while not heavily focused on education policy, were nonetheless inspiring. He used his theories of disruption and innovation in business to invoke a different way of thinking. And, he challenged attendees to measure their lives not in numbers – like how much money they made or how big they helped grow their particular institution – but rather on how they helped people put in their path to become better people. Attendees were struck by the juxtaposition of Dr. Christensen’s humble demeanor and incredibly deep insight. I, along with many attendees, felt inspired by his words and energized to help others to become better people.
As a parent advocate, it was great to see parents prominently featured in The Search for Opportunity: Real Faces of Education Choice because parents and students are the ones directly impacted by policy-making. To hear their stories was inspiring and reaffirmed PSO’s commitment to fighting for the rights of parents to be able to choose the school that works best for their child.
It was a great conference to usher in the end of another great year.