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Parents Are Acting on Educational Freedom Movements: Andrew Handel on NewsTalk STL

Andrew Handel, ALEC Education and Workforce Development Task Force Director, spoke with St. Louis NewsTalk STL’s hosts Tim Jones and Chris Arps about to talk about the recently released Nations Report Card on America’s Education System and how it showed that after the pandemic students regressed and how parents can take control of their students’ education.

Host: Andrew, you published an op-ed recently in The Washington Times. Why? The Education Freedom movement is here to stay. Andrew, in those states that have the most prolific educational choice offerings, like Florida, Arizona, even California has quite a few school choice options. Andrew, what’s the result? Do they work? Do those states tend to, even though the whole country is suffering right now, are those states doing maybe the best of the worst, so to speak?

Andrew: They absolutely are. The reason for that is as parents started seeing a decline; is transition to what I like to call emergency remote learning, which is not true virtual learning. But all the public schools just shifting all these kids onto zoom, that’s not virtual learning. Parents saw that they got to peek into the classroom, and maybe they thought their student wasn’t being challenged enough. Maybe they didn’t like the curriculum that was being taught. Maybe there was critical race theory or some kind of gender ideology that was being taught. Whatever the reason, in those states, like Florida and Arizona, they were able to take advantage of other options. They were able to go homeschool or go to a nearby charter school, private school, take advantage of a scholarship program; it was harder for families to do that. And there are still far too many families that are ultimately trapped in a failing public school or a school that doesn’t teach things that agree with them culturally or morally. And that’s really what we’re trying to fix here, moving forward, trying to reimagine education.