Times Like These: Why You Should Build A Real, Committed Grassroots Army

By Jennifer Wagner Buying a domain name, launching a website and making a public announcement are the first steps toward building a grassroots network of supporters. They also happen to be the easiest steps. The community commitment or engagement curve. This one is designed for an online community, but the same basic principles apply to grassroots organizing: […]

How About We Just Call Them Schools? Then We Can Focus On What Matters.

By Jennifer Wagner Hear ye, hear ye. Make way for the Official School Choice Language Brigade, summoned recently in response to terminology used by President Trump in his State of the Union address. At one point in the speech, Trump referred to “government schools.” At another point, later in the speech, he called them “public schools.” This is […]

School Choice: You’ll Know It When You Need It

By Jennifer Wagner When asked to describe his threshold for determining obscenity, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said back in 1964 that he didn’t have a clear standard, but “I know it when I see it.” I often think of his phrase when talking with families about school choice. Those conversations usually go something like this: “What […]

Beyond Rallies: Five Grassroots Activities That Probably Are Easier (And More Effective)

Beyond Rallies: Five Grassroots Activities That Probably Are Easier (And Just As Effective) By Jennifer Wagner Everyone loves the idea of a rally to support their cause: thousands of people with clever homemade signs and catchy chants filling a public space. Television cameras everywhere! Public officials listening to meaty speeches layered with compelling personal stories. It […]

The Eight Personalities You’ll Encounter When Building Coalitions

By Jennifer Wagner “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” This famously funny Will Rogers quote applies far beyond partisan politics. Every issue — political or not — has a coalition, and every coalition has its members — for better or worse. We’ve done a lot of coalition work over the years, and we thought it […]

Overheard At #RedForEd: Pay Is Important, But Testing Took Center Stage

By Jennifer Wagner When thousands of people come together to speak out for or against something, it’s a beautiful sight. Rallies and protests are a reminder of our fundamental American right to petition our government for redress of grievances. This week, the Red for Ed movement came to the Indiana Statehouse. Thousands of teachers flooded the […]

Shout It From The Rooftop: We Need More School Choice Net Promoters

By Jennifer Wagner Welcome to the golden age of influence. Some of us are new to it. Others are growing up in it. We’re all going to have to adapt to it. Take a look at this recent Morning Consult data from a survey of more than 2,000 interviews with 13–38 year-olds who were asked about […]

Blame The Left: Who Needs Bipartisanship Anyway?

By Jennifer Wagner Coalitions, no matter the issue, tend to loosely fall into two buckets: true believers and unlikely allies. True believers are the bedrock, but it’s hard to move beyond a certain growth point without unlikely allies. In the school choice narrative, this breakdown has largely been partisan: Republicans got things started a few decades ago, […]

Vigorous Agreement About Bipartisan Ed Reform

By Jason Bedrick Have you ever watched two friends engaged in a heated debate who are basically saying the same thing but don’t seem to realize it? That’s how I felt reading a recent post by my colleague, Jennifer Wagner, in which she addresses the arguments made by Jay P. Greene and Rick Hess at National […]

OMG, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are Politicians!

OMG, Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren Are Politicians! By Jennifer Wagner To my friends in the K-12 school choice movement currently losing your minds because Democrats who once supported charters and even private school choice no longer do: Welcome to politics. Let me break it down for you. Donald Trump is the President. Democrats don’t like Donald Trump. […]