<![CDATA[Champions for Choice - Updates]]>Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:11:24 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[WNBA Legend Lisa Leslie speaks at the second day of the Summit]]>Thu, 04 Jun 2015 22:07:05 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/wnba-legend-lisa-leslie-speaks-at-the-second-day-of-the-summitFour time olympic champion and WNBA legend Lisa Leslie spoke at the second day of the 2015 AFC National Policy Summit. She urged everyone in attendance to fight like a champion when it comes to educational choice:



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<![CDATA[AFC to visit radio row at Super Bowl with Champions for Choice Lisa Leslie & Marcellus Wiley]]>Thu, 04 Jun 2015 22:06:53 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/afc-to-visit-radio-row-at-super-bowl-with-champions-for-choice-lisa-leslie-marcellus-wiley
Washington, D.C. (Jan. 27, 2015) – The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, announced that it will visit “radio row” at the 2015 NFL Super Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona with Champions for Choice and former WNBA player and Olympic gold-medal winner, Lisa Leslie, and former NFL player and current ESPN analyst, Marcellus Wiley.

As National School Choice Week comes to a close, with more than 11,000 events taking place across the country, Leslie and Wiley will discuss the importance of school choice policies and the positive impact that a high-quality education can have on a child’s life.

A new national poll was released by AFC that indicates strong support for school choice across the country. Over two thirds of likely voters support school choice programs, and 76 percent support charter schools. School choice also has bipartisan backing with 81 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Independents and 60 percent of Democrats lending their support to the issue.

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Fast Facts

Over 360,000 students across the country take advantage of private school choice programs

– There are 41 programs in 19 states plus the District of Columbia

Arizona is one of the leading states for innovative school choice programs
– The state has 4 programs with over 43,000 students enrolled

Independent research supports the benefits of school choice

– Washington, D.C. – Students who use the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program have a 90 percent graduation rate, 30 percentage points higher than their counterparts in D.C. Public Schools
– Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Students participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program had a 76 percent graduation rate, 7.2 percentage points higher than their counterparts in Milwaukee Public Schools
– Florida – Students who participate in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program typically gain an additional year’s worth of learning in a year’s worth of time.

AFC’s national poll results

– 69 percent support school choice, including 45 percent who strongly support choice
– 76 percent support public charter schools
– 54 percent of those surveyed believe that giving parents more choices of schools will improve the education system
– 65 percent believe choice and competition among schools improves education
– 62 percent believe we need to make major changes to the ways that public schools are run

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<![CDATA[Jalen Rose: All kids deserve great education]]>Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:17:47 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/jalen-rose-all-kids-deserve-great-educationThe Detroit News | August 4, 2014

Many young people in America today face a harsh reality. Their fate in life is determined by their ZIP code. For an overwhelming number of African Americans and other minorities, having the wrong ZIP code keeps you from a high school diploma, a college degree, and a future that offers you opportunities that match your talents.

That’s wrong. And it’s entirely avoidable.

We are not assigned to certain grocery stores or restaurants based on our ZIP codes, which is why it makes no sense that between K-12, children are required to attend a school solely based on where they live.

We have some school choice in Michigan, but too many kids are still assigned a school based on their ZIP code. There are those who want to eliminate or restrict choice, and we shouldn’t let that happen. Students need to be funded equitably and we need to make sure parents have enough information to make the right choice.

The fact of the matter is that the high school graduation rate for African-American males nationally is just 52 percent — 26 percentage points below the national average of their white counterparts. In other words, more than half of all African-American children in America will never have the basic skills to compete in the 21st century workforce. Odds are many of those children will turn to crime, violence or drugs, causing problems for every single American who pays taxes or simply seeks to live in a society that allows people to realize their full potential.

There is an obvious solution at hand to deal with this chronic crisis — educational choice.

Educational choice ensures that every child has access to a quality education. It’s easier for people with financial resources to change their ZIP code or send their child to a private school. However, low-income families, many of whom have children assigned to failing schools, do not have the resources to send their children to a high-quality or specialized school that meets their needs.

Educational options — whether charter, public, private, virtual or homeschool — have a proven track record of improving educational outcomes. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Giving parents the opportunity to choose the best school for their children helps ensure every child can reach for his or her dreams.

I am passionate about school choice, because I have seen the difference a good school can make.

Some people question the urgency of this issue, but I question why educational choice is even up for debate. No child should be left in an underperforming school, while we wait for the “system” to reform.

It’s what inspired me to found my own public school academy in my hometown. The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit is but one of many options nationwide, but the sad reality is today there are far too many parents who are still denied the right to send their child to a quality school of their choice. We have that right in Michigan, and we can’t let anything threaten it.

Great education transforms lives and substandard education diminishes them. I want education that allows every child to meet his or her full potential, both for themselves and for their community.

An athletic scholarship shouldn’t be a child’s best opportunity to receive an education. That’s not right and it’s not fair. Neither luck nor the ability to dribble a basketball should be the only tickets out of an underperforming school. It is well past time that our elected officials enact common sense reform to save a generation of children from a fate they do not deserve.

Jalen Rose is an ABC/ESPN analyst, former NBA star and founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter high school in Detroit.

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<![CDATA[Jalen Rose Speaks out for Educational Choice on Fox Business ]]>Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:19:18 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/jalen-rose-speaks-out-for-educational-choice-on-fox-business
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<![CDATA[Media Coverage from 2014 Pre-ESPYS event ]]>Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:47:26 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/media-coverage-from-2014-pre-espys-event

on Vimeo.

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<![CDATA[Champion for Choice Lisa Leslie to be Inducted into WNBA Hall of Fame]]>Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:03:30 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/champion-for-choice-lisa-leslie-to-be-inducted-into-wnba-hall-of-fame
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<![CDATA[2014 Pre-ESPYs Champions for Choice Video Wrap-Up]]>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:53:24 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/2014-pre-espys-champions-for-choice-video-wrap-up
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<![CDATA[Karrueche Tran, Sundy Carter And More Attend Pre-ESPY American Federation For Children Event ]]>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:52:23 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/karrueche-tran-sundy-carter-and-more-attend-pre-espy-american-federation-for-children-event
Los Angeles based media outlet, Bossip.com reported on the 2014 pre-ESPYS event - check out the coverage and photos by clicking here. 
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<![CDATA[Jalen Rose: When a ZIP code determines a child's future]]>Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:52:05 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/jalen-rose-when-a-zip-code-determines-a-childs-futurePicture
By JALEN ROSE / Contributing Writer 
Published: July 15, 2014 Updated: 5:30 p.m. in the Orange County Register

Many young people in America today face a harsh reality. Their fate in life is determined by their ZIP code. For an overwhelming number of African Americans and other minorities, having the wrong ZIP code keeps you from a high school diploma, a college degree, and a future that offers you opportunities that match your talents.

That’s wrong. And it’s entirely avoidable.

We are not assigned to certain grocery stores or restaurants based on our ZIP codes, which is why it makes no sense that between K-12, children are required to attend a school solely based on where they live.

The fact of the matter is that the high school graduation rate for African American males is just 52 percent – 26 percentage points below the national average of their white counterparts. In other words, more than half of all African American children in America will never have the basic skills to compete in the 21st century workforce. Odds are many of those children will turn to crime, violence or drugs, causing problems for every single American who pays taxes or simply seeks to live in a society that allows people to realize their full potential.

There is an obvious solution at hand to deal with this chronic crisis – educational choice.


Educational choice ensures that every child has access to a quality education. It’s easier for people with financial resources to change their ZIP code or send their child to a private school. However, low-income families, many of whom have children assigned to failing schools, do not have the resources to send their children to a high-quality or specialized school that meets their needs.

Educational options – whether charter, public, private, virtual or homeschool – have a proven track record of improving educational outcomes. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Giving parents the opportunity to choose the best school for their children helps ensure every child can reach for his or her dreams.

And, it’s why every year, while athletes and celebrities come together to celebrate athletic feats, all-star athletes and accomplishments at the ESPY Awards, there will be a group of us who come together the night before at the third annual Champions for Choice in Education celebration. A celebration that pauses to recognize a less celebrated, but easily more important cause: Ensuring every child, no matter their race, no matter their family’s income, no matter their ZIP code, has access to a quality education.

I was among the lucky ones. Most of us were not born into the “perfect ZIP code,” nor come from families with great financial means, but our athletic talents provided us academic opportunities that are denied to so many others. Without those God-given talents, many of us could have been just another inner city statistic.

And it saddens me that I – and others – made it out of difficult situations simply because of our athletic talents.

That’s why I am passionate about school choice, because I have seen the difference a good school can make. I have talked to families stuck in failing or dangerous schools. I have heard parents worry about their children not getting what they need and despairing that there’s nothing they can do. I have seen students from underperforming schools thrive in new schools. And, I have talked to successful young people who tell me how big a difference a school of their choice has made in their lives, opening doors and expanding horizons. Some people question the urgency of this issue, but I question why educational choice is even up for debate. No child should be left in an underperforming school, while we wait for the “system” to reform. It’s what inspired me to found my own public school academy in my hometown, Detroit. The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is but one of many options nationwide, but the sad reality is today there are far too many parents who are still denied the right to send their child to a quality school of their choice.

Great education transforms lives and substandard education diminishes them. I want education that allows every child to meet his or her full potential, both for themselves and for their community.

An athletic scholarship shouldn’t be a child’s best opportunity to receive an education. That’s not right and it’s not fair. Neither luck nor the ability to dribble a basketball should be the only tickets out of an underperforming school. It is well past time that our elected officials enact common sense reform to save a generation of children from a fate they do not deserve.

Jalen Rose is an ABC/ESPN Analyst, former NBA star and founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy,a public charter high school in Detroit.

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<![CDATA[Voices: Athletes and celebrities speak out about the need for educational choice]]>Tue, 27 May 2014 21:03:40 GMThttp://www.championsforchoice.com/updates/voices-athletes-and-celebrities-speak-out-about-the-need-for-educational-choice
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