Maybe Next Time Colorado Can Do Better than Lucky 13 in Parent Power

I don’t want to alarm any of my Education Policy Center friends, but I do have some reservations about getting behind the notion of “Parent Power.” Specifically when it comes to matters of enforcing vegetable-eating policies, cutting into my video game time, and limiting where I can and can’t ride my new bike.

On the other hand, it’s a good thing when it comes to getting informed about educational options, selecting a school, and taking an active role in kids’ academic success. The Center for Education Reform is back again with the latest rendition of its Parent Power Index, and there haven’t been too many changes.

Last time we checked in, Colorado earned 72 percent and ranked 13th nationally. With the latest results ready to report (drum roll, please), Colorado arrives at… 13th place with a 72 percent “PPI” rating!

Well yes, there has been some jostling among the top performers. Ohio leapfrogged Louisiana into third place, and Arizona slipped ahead of Washington, D.C., to make it into the top five. Wisconsin edged in front of Georgia. But Indiana hangs on to the pole position, and there were no new entrants into the top 10 Parent Power states.

What factors into the equation? Charter school laws, parent trigger laws, online education access, transparency of data, and teacher quality provisions, not to mention how reform-friendly a governor is (we still have the same one) and the reliability of the media to report education issues fairly. Helping Colorado Kids Win with a scholarship tax credit program sure would boost us, too!

Especially given the U.S. Department of Justice’s chilling crackdown on opportunity and choice for poor students in Louisiana, this posting should help remind you the “Won’t Back Down” urgency for change in Colorado remains the same. We can do better than “lucky” 13th place on the Parent Power Index. I get all that. But still, given the whole eat-your-broccoli issue, am I out of place to ask for a Kids Power index instead?