Wisconsin among top states in education according to new index

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 5:41 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAW) - The Center for Education Reform, a leading policy and advocacy organization that has been spearheading efforts nationally to expand parental opportunities for involvement in their children’s education, has ranked Wisconsin fifth in the nation on its just-released 2022 Parent Power Index.

The Index, which the Center for Education Reform has published annually since 1999, ranks the states, and the District of Columbia, on multiple factors that gauge the degree to which parents are permitted to make critical decisions affecting their children’s schooling.

“No family’s income level, zip code, or child’s level of academic achievement should limit that family’s access to educational opportunity,” said Jeanne Allen, founder, and CEO of the Center for Education Reform. “Better schools come about when parents have power. Parents have power when states are open and transparent about their policies and provide parents with the necessary information, authority, and funding they need to exercise more control over their children’s schooling.”

Allen stressed that after the pandemic-related school closings, lockdowns, and other disruptions “parents, teachers, and students all want more freedom and flexibility in education. It became obvious during the pandemic that children do best when the ‘system’ is responsive to their needs and provides them with the educational options they need to succeed,” she said.

The Parent Power Index is based on several factors including choice programs such as scholarships, charter schools, innovation, and transparency when it comes to state leaders being open about their policies and schools about their test scores. All of it depends on another critical factor though, that is leadership. The CER says whether a state’s leaders in both education and politics are willing to create and expand programs is what really allows individual learning to thrive.