Gary Beckner

In Florida, for example, the Florida Virtual School served over 97,000 students in the 2009-2010 school year and is growing by leaps and bounds each year. In 2009, the FLVS hired more than 300 new full-time teachers and currently has a 1200 member faculty who reside in Florida and beyond. This could be the new norm of modern-day teaching with school choice in play.

Educators are uniquely positioned to join the conversation and make sure our voices are heard in this debate. By joining this network of organizations and individuals, we can directly affect policy that will have a profound impact on improving and modernizing education. We urge all parents, students, and teachers to express their support for school choice. Working together, we can change what has become an ineffective system.

It is my hope that through AAE’s endorsement of school choice, we can educate and inspire other teachers across the country to make their opinions known. Teachers should not be the ones to stifle advances in education, rather embrace those policies that will ultimately bring opportunity and flexibility to educators.

2011 will be the year for education reform. Let us unite in calling for a system that spells success for students and potential for educators.

Gary Beckner

Gary Beckner is the Executive Director of the Association of American Educators.