In Case You Missed It: American Federation for Children’s Kevin P. Chavous Featured Guest on PBS’ NewsHour

Click below to watch the interview with Kevin P. Chavous and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel

Below are Kevin’s key points from the April 1, 2013 NewsHour segment: Should Public Money Be Used for Private Schools?

“The bottom line is people and parents are clamoring for change.  And that’s why you see scholarship programs, voucher programs, tax credits emerging all over the country, because people don’t want to be confined to a bad school based on zip code.  This really isn’t about partisan politics, this really is about making sure that parents have as many quality options as possible available to educate their children.”

“What we’ve seen since ‘A Nation at Risk’ thirty years ago is that [turning around America’s failing schools] is going to take years of work.  In the meantime, half of the kids of color are dropping out of American schools, our ’good’ schools aren’t as good as they used to be, and even before I finish this sentence, a child is going to drop out [of school].  What do we do to help those kids that are confined to bad schools?  [Through] the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, we know that 94 percent of those kids [receiving] vouchers are graduating and 89 percent are going to college.  And 100 percent of kids are coming from families with a combined family income of $24,000.”

“No school district has ever reformed itself from within. They never have, they never will. The best form of change … is through external pressures through educational choice.  This is not an either or, zero-sum game.  I am not saying that all kids or all families need to avail themselves to scholarships or vouchers.  What I am saying is through tax credits, scholarships and vouchers, through charter schools, home schools, traditional public schools we need to put all options on the table.  This is the only way, to fly this plane while we fix it, help those kids with the immediate needs, and also provide the impetus for public schools to right-side themselves.”