How the School Choice Guidebook Can Help Media Professionals

Each year we release the School Choice Guidebook, the definitive and comprehensive book that details and ranks the private school choice programs across the country. In past years, we have not ranked special education programs due to the complex nature of that task. However, always wanting to push our own boundaries, this year’s School Choice Guidebook does just that.

A brief bit of history: Since 2005, the American Federation for Children Growth Fund (our 501c3 entity), has released a comprehensive guide to the nation’s private school choice programs titled “The School Choice Yearbook.” Starting in 2016, we also published a document which ranked private school choice programs titled “The Report Card”. Last year’s School Choice Guidebook combined those documents for the first time.

How is this helpful for the media and for those engaging in the mass media ecosystem?

Well, as I read through hundreds of pages per day from newspapers, websites, blogs, newsletters, emails, and social media posts, it’s become clear that many seemingly smart and hardworking individuals in the sphere get basic facts wrong.

I certainly don’t know all of the intricate details of automotive vehicles, but I can tell you that a car is not a motorcycle, and that a minivan is not a helicopter. That absurd example of imprecision is oftentimes the level of precision used by some journalists when talking about educational choice policies. Coupled with a broad, consistent, and high-volume misinformation campaign from the teachers’ unions and others in the control tower of our education system, it’s a potent brew for widespread misunderstanding of critical education reform policies that are saving our children and students every day.

Hopefully, the School Choice Guidebook can give objective data points for the media to rely upon as they report stories on K-12 school choice. Hopefully, those engaging on social media will cite the statistics and facts whenever there are misleading tropes or outright lies about educational choice policies. By no means do I expect this to be the case in every circumstance, but at least you’ll know that there is a source you can trust with accurate and up-to-date information on virtually anything you’d like to know about private school choice programs: The School Choice Guidebook.