Archive for August, 2012

Mitt Romney echoes CSF’s tagline in RNC acceptance speech

Just one day after Condoleezza Rice referred to America’s K-12 education crisis as the “civil rights issue of our day,” both Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush called for increased parental choice in education at the RNC convention last night.

Mitt Romney even paraphrased CSF’s tagline (as he did a few months ago in Philadelphia), saying, “When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.

Earlier in the evening, Jeb Bush touted the gains made from the school choice programs he enacted in Florida, and advocated offering more educational choices of all kinds, saying,The sad truth is that equality of opportunity doesn’t exist in many of our schools. We give some kids a chance, but not all. That failure is the great moral and economic issue of our time.”

You can read the full transcripts of the Romney and Bush speeches.

Condoleezza Rice on the need for high standards and choice in education

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke movingly about the need for education reform and increased parental choice at the Republican National Convention last night, referring to the crisis in K-12 education as “a grave threat to who we are” and “the civil rights issue of our day.”

Here is an excerpt of the education portion of her speech:

“We have been successful too because Americans have known that one’s status at birth was not a permanent station in life. You might not be able to control your circumstances but you could control your response to your circumstances. And your greatest ally in doing so was a quality education.

Let me ask you, though, today, when I can look at your zip code and can tell whether you are going to get a good education – can I really say that it doesn’t matter where you came from – it matters where you are going. The crisis in K-12 education is a grave threat to who we are.

My mom was a teacher – I have the greatest respect for the profession – we need great teachers – not poor or mediocre ones. We need to have high standards for our students – self-esteem comes from achievement not from lax standards and false praise. And we need to give parents greater choice – particularly poor parents whose kids – most often minorities — are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights issue of our day.

If we do anything less, we will condemn generations to joblessness, hopelessness and dependence on the government dole. To do anything less is to endanger our global economic competitiveness. To do anything less is to tear apart the fabric of who we are and cement a turn toward grievance and entitlement.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Rice and former NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein led an independent task force that produced a Council on Foreign Relations report on education and national security. The report (which can be downloaded here) found that U.S. students are lagging in international rankings and young people are increasingly unprepared for the workforce and the military, creating a national security risk as well as weakening America’s global competitiveness.

New study finds private scholarships increase college enrollment for African-Americans

We have some great news to report. A groundbreaking new study from Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson finds that private scholarships, just like those CSF offers, significantly increase the chances that African-American students will go on to graduate from high school and enroll in college.

Released today, this is the first study using data from a randomized trial (considered the “gold standard” in research methodology) to look at the effects of partial scholarships on college enrollment. After gathering college enrollment information from the National Student Clearinghouse, which compiles enrollment data from more than 96% of students attending colleges and universities in the U.S., the researchers found that African-American students in New York who won and used a scholarship to attend private school in Kindergarten were 24% more likely to attend college than those who applied but didn’t win a scholarship.

The students in this study were awarded partial scholarships in 1997 from the School Choice Scholarships Foundation (SCSF), an organization that pre-dated Children’s Scholarship Fund. SCSF scholarship recipients are almost identical to CSF families in New York City in terms of income levels, ethnicity, and neighborhoods. They attended the same private and parochial schools where CSF Scholars in New York use their scholarships today. (In fact, CSF actually took over the administration of SCSF scholarships in 2001.)

This new study confirms and complements earlier research showing improved test scores and higher graduation rates for CSF Scholars compared with their peers who attend public schools.

You can download the Chingos and Peterson study here. You can also visit CSF’s website for more studies on CSF Scholars from CSF and our partner programs across the country.

Dreams. Opportunities. Results.

The theme of Children’s Scholarship Fund’s 2011-12 annual report is simple: Dreams + Opportunities = Results.

At the Children’s Scholarship Fund, we’ve seen that the powerful combination of dreams and opportunities leads to results that are both measurable and heartwarming.

In this year’s annual report, you can read about the positive impact CSF scholarships are having on the lives of several CSF Scholars and their families and learn why CSF remains a sound investment.

A special thank you goes out to all of CSF’s friends and supporters. As you read the report, please remember your investment leads to life-changing results.

Download your copy of the annual report here.

CSF featured in the Arnold Foundation’s Giving Library

The Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) is honored to be included in the Laura and John Arnold Foundation’s (LJAF) Giving Library, a new innovative online library featuring videos with information about hundreds of non-profits.

The Giving Library is designed to allow philanthropists to easily identify and research non-profits in their areas of interest in a time-effective manner.

“There is not currently a way for philanthropists to quickly but substantively look into a large number of giving opportunities, and the Giving Library addresses that need. Individuals that use the Giving Library will be able to easily locate, study, and engage with organizations that fit their giving criteria,” said LJAF Director of Communications, Meredith Johnson. “What would have taken months or even years of meetings and travel can now be done in a matter of days, from anywhere. It’s the new way to give.”

Click above to view CSF’s Giving Library video.

CSF’s Giving Library video includes an overview of our history and continuing mission to empower low-income parents to provide their children with a private school education and questions and answers with CSF President Darla Romfo.

Please visit the Giving Library to view the CSF video and learn more about the new site. For those who register, the site also offers the chance to communicate anonymously with charities before making a decision to donate.

Stephen Joseph partners with CSF

Just in time for back to school shopping season, Stephen Joseph has partnered with CSF as part of its “Eat-Learn-Play” program.

For every “Sidekick” backpack sold this season, Stephen Joseph will contribute $1 to fund CSF scholarships. The Sidekick backpacks come in eight different designs (including a monkey, ladybug, and giraffe, just to name three) and each one is cute and colorful!

Find out more here and check out the collection on the Stephen Joseph website today.