Click on the above link to view the PDF
Imagine if you could shop for your child’s education just like you’d shop for a new laptop.
If you were shopping for a new laptop, you would look online at the features to see if they match your needs. You would look at reviews and at what Consumer Reports has to say about the specs, the durability and the overall performance. You might ask your friends what brand laptop they have and how they like it. You also might visit Best Buy and the Apple Store to get the look and feel of various models.
We are all very accustomed to shopping this way for most consumer products in our lives. How would we respond if we simply had to accept the taxpayer-funded laptop that our state government determined was best for us? One store, one salesperson, take it or leave it.
In Colorado where I live, we are luckier than some other states because we have some choices in schools. It is true that some districts have highly rated traditional public schools, but that is neither universal nor the norm. Consistently, the schools that rank the highest in performance and college preparation are charter and private schools.
Take for example Liberty Common High School, a public charter school in Fort Collins, CO. They focus on a classical liberal-arts curriculum accentuating math, science and engineering. Every student is required to take 4 years of math and a foreign language. They have high expectations and achieve high results. Although Liberty doesn’t teach to any standardized tests, their students consistently out-perform students in other schools who are teaching to the standardized tests. Liberty consistently achieves the highest test scores in Colorado, and even broke the ACT record this year.
Charter schools are public schools. They require no tuition to be paid by the parents. They are part of traditional school districts and are funded by tax dollars. They actually have less money to work with since they do not receive any tax money for facilities as their non-charter counterparts do. They need to use a portion of the per-pupil student funding for facilities, yet they are still achieving superior results. Charter Schools are far from rare. Twelve percent of Colorado’s K-12 students are now in Charter Schools. With charter schools achieving such wonderful results with more efficient spending of taxpayer dollars, it’s no surprise that responsible and active parents are choosing charter schools for their children.
Private schools require parents to pay separate tuition in order for their child to attend. Does that mean that all private schools are only for the wealthy and elite? Look at the example of Arrupe Jesuit High School in North Denver. The average family income among the students’ families is $31,000 per year. Over 50% of these students will be the first in their family to graduate high school. So how do these families afford private school tuition? The Arrupe students work for a portion of their tuition through the school’s Corporate Work Study Program. There is a longer school day and school year to allow students to work 5 days per month at area partner companies. They earn valuable work experience and are able to work for a portion of their own tuition. The parents pay a small portion of the tuition, which may be as little as $100 per month. In addition, Arrupe partners with the Ace Scholarships Program, which provides families with the remainder of the tuition costs, through money raised from individuals and businesses.
The performance at Arrupe is astounding as 100% of graduates are accepted to college. This busts the myth that kids from poorer families are destined to squander their potential in poor achieving traditional schools. They have a better chance to succeed when their parents take an active role, and when their community invests in their opportunity to attend a high performing private school. Who wouldn’t want to send their kids to the best schools available?
If traditional public schools do not work to improve and keep the remaining parents happy, students will continue to leave and so will the public funds received per pupil. This competition improves the performance of all schools.
Although Colorado has more choice in education than some other states, we still face roadblocks from some in government who want to preserve the public school paradigm. State Senator-elect, Michael Merrifield was a previous State House member who served as the chair of the House Education Committee. During a discussion about charter schools, Merrifield famously quipped “there is a special place in hell for supporters of charter schools.” Why would a former educator denigrate parents who simply want the best for their kids, especially when the performance of these schools is better than traditional public schools?
It’s time to remove any bias against school choice, or against parents who are looking for better schools for their kids. It is not the fault of these parents or children who are left to deal with the sub-par schools in their communities. It is the fault of the obstructionists to progress and a better future for our kids. All we ask is to have a choice. After all, it is the way we shop for everything else.
Founder, I Am Created Equal
Visit Laura Carno’s personal site here.
In the few weeks since the election, we have been working to answer the question: “What was the impact of the ‘Udall Lied’ campaign on sending Mark Udall home?”
With so many media players in any election, it is always difficult to prove who was responsible for which election results. The attached document makes the case that ‘Udall Lied’ demonstrates the wisdom of defining a candidate early in the minds of voters, changing the culture in which the election happens and impacting the language that becomes the norm.
Please let me know if you have questions about our analysis or would like to look more deeply at any of our numbers.
We thank you sincerely for taking a risk on our unconventional campaign. It worked, and we are grateful for your support.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
(Click above to view the PDF)
On October 28, 2014, the Independence Institute held a debate at the Denver Post building on whether there is a war on women in Colorado. On the “no” side we had Kelly Maher and Laura Carno. For the “yes” side we had Susan Greene and Laura Chapin.
October 30, 2014
The 2013 Colorado recalls were all about politicians overreaching on gun control. It was a response to just one more example of people like Michael Bloomberg using their vast fortunes to tell the rest of us how we must behave. When Bloomberg forces restrictions on salt, sodas and trans-fats, it’s annoying. But when he proposes gun restrictions that make me less safe, it is incredibly disrespectful to all women. A billionaire who hires armed security to protect him dares to tell me how many rounds I can have in my magazine! Ordinary Colorado citizens organized the recalls, knocked on doors, called their neighbors and flocked to the polls. Despite $350,000 of Bloomberg money being spent against the recall efforts, we successfully recalled two sitting state Senators and forced another to resign, showing Bloomberg that the voters couldn’t be bought.
Bloomberg Can Be Beat Because Our Votes Can’t Be Bought.
This is a direct excerpt from the full NRA Magazine, click here to see the magazine.
See the original video here.
Our storm water problem is real and it should be addressed but Question 1B is not the answer. I hope you’ll join Mayor Steve Bach, myself and many other community leaders in voting no.
Original post here.
The marketing for Amendment 67 would have you believe that it exists solely to gain equal rights in wrongful death situations. If implemented however, it would effectively ban most forms of birth control, and cause legal issues for women who miscarry or participate in many forms of infertility treatments. The pro-life activist community is not universally behind the Personhood effort. In 2008, Colorado’s Amendment 48, the first attempt at a Personhood Amendment in Colorado, was defeated at the ballot box 73-27. When a similar bill made its way through the Colorado State Legislature in 2014, even the Catholic Archbishop of Denver urged people to act to stop the bill. It failed. This Amendment creates more intrusion in to women’s lives, and makes government larger and more powerful. I will be voting NO.
Amendment 68 – Horse Racetrack Casino Gambling
The marketing for Amendment 68 is “for the children.” It purports to be raising money for schools. Who isn’t for good schools? If this passes, it would allow casino style gambling at 3 Colorado horse racetracks (one existing horse racetrack and two still to be developed), and would create an additional tax to produce millions more in revenue to the state. Ordinarily, I would support a business owner’s right to determine what should happen at his or her business. But, I have a couple of issues with this Amendment. First, voters in the areas where these casinos might open should have the ability to make this decision for their community, adding a local control element to the discussion. None of these proposed casinos would impact my area. Why should I get a say? Second, creating new taxes simply adds to the amount of money the State government has to spend, and generally speaking, government does not spend money well. When we “starve the beast”, they have less money with which to harm citizens. I will be voting NO.
Amendment 104 – School Board Meeting Requirements
This Amendment requires that when school boards meet with unions for the purpose of collective bargaining, that these meetings will be conducted in public. When this idea has previously been brought before the Colorado state legislature, it has been killed on a party line vote. Not surprisingly, the teachers’ union is funding the opposition to Amendment 104. The government belongs to us, and the citizens are owed transparency in negotiations that involve taxpayer dollars. For more history on this effort, see this Denver Post op-ed by former State Representative B.J. Nikkel, a great advocate of government transparency. I will be voting YES.
Amendment 105 – Labeling Genetically Modified Food
This Amendment would require labeling of food products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), with many exceptions. The history of GMOs is a complicated debate. While I can appreciate the viewpoint of those who don’t want to consume GMOs, I am also aware of the positive uses. In poor parts of the world for example, GMO’s are starting to be used to infuse crops with specific nutrients, thereby saving millions who would otherwise die of malnutrition. Ultimately, I come down on the side of voluntary actions instead of the force of government. Food products that do not include GMOs are free to label their products (as many do today) as GMO free. Consumers would then be free to choose what they buy, and apply pressure to companies to label their food products. Although there are many more complexities covering the exceptions, ingredients, etc., it is simply not the proper role of government to force businesses to jump through regulatory hoops and add cost to their process. I will be voting NO.
See the original post by here.
September 20, 2014
The Denver Post
By Laura Carno
Democrats seem intent on making this election about choice. What else explains the barrage of ads in the Colorado U.S. Senate race with the false narrative that a woman’s right to get a legal abortion is in jeopardy?
Since the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade has “survived” the pro-life presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Despite the steadfastness of the law, the incidence of abortion is at its lowest point since 1973.
The many good works of the pro-life movement such as privately funded centers that support young pregnant women as an alternative to abortion have effectively lowered the tide of abortion.
Yet, a deafening barrage of political commercials is now telling women their reproductive rights are in danger. Let’s be clear: They aren’t.
The false “your reproductive rights are in danger” narrative is a tactic “pro-choice” Democrats have embraced for decades to persuade women to vote for Democrats over Republicans. I would argue that a woman who thinks she is voting “pro-choice” should examine what those choices are.
Voting for a Democrat who is billed as pro-choice is also a vote for someone who does not support a woman’s right to choose her own doctor or health plan. It is a vote for someone who likely doesn’t support a woman’s right to choose her own form of self-defense.
The good news in this is that we haven’t given up the right to make our own choices about who to vote for.
The option for a woman to choose a legal abortion is only one issue out of many. And since that option is not likely in jeopardy, look at the other choices that are important to you and your family, including health care, take-home pay and your family’s safety.
See the original post here.