Recommended School Reform Links
From their website: “The website helps to provide information on issues in Illinois education to the parents who are consumers of that education, to the taxpayers who pay for it, and to everyone who wants to restore quality to Illinois schools.”

The Heartland Institute
The Heartland Institute bills itself as “a nonprofit organization devoted to turning ideas into social movements that empower people.” They properly refer to public schools as “government schools,” and say they “are islands of socialism in a sea of competition and choice.” The Heartland page on education devotes a section to “Best Available Research.”

The Heritage Foundation
From their website: “Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute – a think tank – whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

The Cato Institute
From their website: “Cato’s scholars in education and child policy develop measures to allow entrepreneurial activity and parental power in education. We envision a day when a dynamic system of independent schools competes to meet the needs of every American child, replacing the failing government school system. We also explore policy solutions to issues including infant and toddler care, childcare, adoption, and social services that emphasize the importance of personal solutions and family responsibility.”

The Friedman Foundation
From their website: “The Friedman Foundation strives to educate parents, public policy makers and organizations about the desperate need for a shift of power to the disenfranchised parents of America who have limited choices and voices in the education of their children. The Foundation serves as an indispensable resource for parents and community groups who want parental choice in education, and are ready to fight for it. Educational choice means that parents are given back a basic American ideal of freedom to choose as it applies to the education of their children. Yes, given back, for America’s system was not founded in public education.”

Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
From their website: “The Foundation’s Education Reform Principles: The Foundation’s work in education seeks to advance understanding and acceptance of effective reform strategies that incorporate these principles: the need for dramatically higher standards; an education system designed for and responsive to the needs of its users; verifiable outcomes and accountability; equality of opportunity; a solid core curriculum taught by knowledgeable, expert instructors; educational diversity, competition, and choice.”

The Center for Education Reform
From their website: “The Center for Education Reform [CER] is a national voice for more choices in education and more rigor in education programs, both of which are key to more effective schooling. It delivers practical, research-based information and assistance to a diverse audience – including parents, policy makers, and education reform groups – in taking actions to ensure that US schools are delivering a high quality education for all children in grades K-12. CER celebrated its 10th Anniversary in October, 2003.”

Core Knowledge
From their website: Core Knowledge is “An Idea. . . that for the sake of academic excellence, greater fairness, and higher literacy, elementary and middle schools need a solid, specific, shared core curriculum in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge, grade by grade. A Guide to Specific, Shared Content . . . as outlined in the Core Knowledge Sequence (a grade-by-grade guide to important knowledge) and supported in Core Knowledge resources, including the What Your Kindergartner – Sixth Grader Needs To Know book series. A School Reform Movement . . . taking shape in hundreds of schools where educators have committed themselves to teaching important skills and the Core Knowledge content they share within grade levels, across districts, and with other Core Knowledge schools across the country.”