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#AskExcelinEd: What does National School Choice Week mean to you?

• Patricia Levesque

In a word, opportunity. That’s what I envision whenever I think about school choice for students: opportunity to learn, to be in an environment that fits, to get a quality education and become their best selves.

During National School Choice Week, I also reflect on all the families I’ve met over the years who benefitted from options for their children’s education. Simply by having choices, these students gained better-matched resources, advanced their learning and overcame obstacles for a productive life. Quite literally, educational choice changed their futures.

ExcelinEd’s suite of Choices in Ed videos, while just a small sampling, is worth a renewed look. These stories again and again remind us of the extraordinary power of a quality education.

Yet, we celebrate these stories with the bittersweet knowledge that millions of families still have no choice. Especially in America’s most disadvantaged communities, too many parents are sending their children to classrooms with too few books, buildings with too little heat and academic expectations that are far too low.

Improving these schools remains a priority for every state in the nation, even as we expand options for students to find their best fit.

For the millions of students currently benefitting from choice, I join you in the coming week to celebrate the flexibility, freedom and success you have found. Study hard and do your best!

For the millions of families still waiting for those options, consider joining us during National School Choice Week to tell your story. Every parent’s voice advocating for their child is a critical reminder that we still have a lot of work to do.

As an education advocate, I envision a day when all schools are good choices and every week is a celebration of choice—because each and every student has the options needed for their success.

In fact, that’s another reason I’m celebrating this coming week: There are a lot of dedicated people working very hard to make that a reality.

About the author

Patricia Levesque @levesquepat

Patricia is the Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She served as Governor Jeb Bush’s deputy chief of staff for education, enterprise solutions for government, minority procurement, and business and professional regulation. Previously, Patricia served six years in the Florida Legislature in the Speakers Office and as staff director over education policy. Contact Patricia at