“What do you do when you go to work, Daddy?” That was the question I got from my inquisitive 8-year-old son sitting across the table from me.
Trying to keep it simple, I said, “I tell people about the idea that parents should be able to send their kids to whatever school they wanted to. Hopefully, parents will pick the school where their kids can have the best experience. It was an idea first thought of by Milton Friedman, who was a very smart man. We call it school choice.”
“Yeah, but what do you do at work all day?”
And then he left.
My son is like many 8 year olds. He is super active, curious about many things, and not one to sit still very long. He knows that every day his dad goes to a place called “work” and does something, but he does not really know what that is.
I smiled as I watched him bound off to the next thing, but his question got me thinking. Do people really know what the Friedman Foundation does? Sure, some may recognize us as a long-time leader in the school choice movement, but do they know what we do every day that has helped school choice spread all across the nation like wildfire, just like Milton Friedman predicted it would?
The Friedman Foundation explains what school choice is, how it works, what results it has yielded in practice so far, and why it is needed to bring K-12 education in America into the 21st century.
Well, here is a quick overview.
Although we support a parents right to choose from both public and private schools, the Friedman Foundation’s niche in the school choice movement is its research examining the effects private school choice programs have on students, families, public schools, private schools, state budgets, and more. We strive to ensure the public, media, and policymakers have accurate information on school choice programs and state and national public opinion on school choice.
The public and policymakers are in great need of understanding the new paradigm of K-12 education that a school choice system would bring. The Friedman Foundation explains what school choice is, how it works, what results it has yielded in practice so far, and why it is needed to bring K-12 education in America into the 21st century. To that end, we:
- create marketing and advertising campaigns,
- use social media to expand our reach and audiences for our products,
- host educational meetings and training seminars for advocates and school choice newbies alike, and
- provide renowned experts through our national Speakers Bureau.
The Friedman Foundation believes education is a local matter and that successful efforts to enact school choice policies must have state-based leadership. We support and work with local partners to identify those in their communities who support school choice and consult on ways to activate them.
As school choice advances in a state, we help partners identify how school choice policies can be moved forward and implemented successfully. Some ways we advocate include:
- analyzing and advising on legislative proposals,
- taking state and local leaders to see schools of choice for themselves,
- testifying before legislative bodies, and
- providing legal advice.
These are the activities that the Friedman Foundation does on a regular basis to advance school choice, and we are proud to share the process—and our successes—with you.
Now, if only my son would sit still long enough to read this blog.
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