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The Real Stories of Education Reform

• Jennifer Diaz

ExcelinEd Vice President of Communications Jennifer Diaz, Early Literacy Policy Director Cari Miller and Regional Advocacy Director Ryan Mahoney conduct Facebook with attendees at the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform.

I love a good stat.

  • Just last year, more than 36,000 students accessed Choice programs for the first time.
  • 4th graders in states with strong accountability programs outpaced 4th graders in other states in both reading and math.
  • 46 percent of employers nationwide report difficulty in filling open positions across a range of career sectors.
  • 9 out of 10 Dentists agree… (just kidding).

While these numbers are terrific, as stand-alone facts they don’t invoke the “why.” Why should we care about the numbers? Why do we work day in and day out to open the doors of opportunity for all students? Why does transforming education matter?

As advocates striving to inspire and achieve change, we must expand our daily, statistic-based conversations to include the real-life struggles and successes of those we serve—our nation’s students and their families.

Consider the short yet powerful video stories below. They are just a few examples of the thousands of real stories of reform being told across the country, in living rooms and classrooms, school board meetings and legislative hearings, Twitter and newspapers.

Join us in telling and sharing impactful stories. Add them to your policy conversations, your media outreach, your advocacy work.

Real people are benefiting every day from education reforms, and they are the why behind education statistics. For me and so many others, they are also the why we come to work each day to keep making a difference.

Darryl Baker attended St. Ament High in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and participated in the welding program his school offered in partnership with a local business association. He never thought he would be able to get a great job after high school until he found this program.

A Lindsay High School, California student, Anayh Acevedo, says her school’s personalized learning program gives her more one-on-one interaction with her teachers, and she believes that focus is providing a better education.

Former Mississippi Principal David D. Tutor tell us of how he implemented Mississippi Literacy Based Promotion Act in his school and how these reforms catapulted his students to the top of the charts.

Atlanta, Georgia online public charter school student Damacia Howard tells her story of how she was bullied at a former school. At her online school, Damacia is not worried about bullying, allowing her to focus on her academics with time for volunteering in her community.

The Fife Family from Ohio shares their story about how having the power to choose the best educational environment through the Ohio Autism Scholarship is meeting their son’s needs. It has made a world of difference for their family.


About the author

Jennifer Diaz @Jennformative

Jennifer serves as the Vice President of Communications, providing strategic advice and leading ExcelinEd’s external communications and marketing efforts. Previously, Jennifer served as ExcelinEd’s National Director of Advocacy, supporting the Advocacy Team in their work with state leaders to develop and adopt legislation and policies that transform education to ensure students are prepared for success in college, career and life, and as ExcelinEd’s State Communications Director, coordinating media and strategic communications in key education reform states across the nation, including legislative session rapid response and long term policy and advocacy communication campaigns.