WASHINGTON, DC — This week, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) joins advocates across the country to celebrate National School Choice Week, a nationwide campaign highlighting the value of letting parents choose the education options best for their children. To illuminate the critical need for school choice, IWF is releasing several personal stories of parents and teachers who tell about how the pandemic and lack of school choice has affected their students’ learning and well-being.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families have watched their children fall further and further behind due to a lack of access to in-person instruction,” said Inez Stepman, senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum. “Unfortunately, it has become clear that public schools care more about union interests than their students. Sadly in too many parts of the country, private schools have fought to stay open, while public schools have fought to stay closed.  School choice would give families leverage and options, two things many currently lack.”

IWF’s storytelling campaign—Left Behind: The Impact of Pandemic Learning on Students—amplifies the personal experiences of parents, students, and teachers who have been ignored by too many public education systems.   These stories represent the experiences of millions of other families all over America.

These stories include:

  • Lauren, a history teacher in California, who was forced to take on the task of educating her students and her children at the same time…
  • Rebecca, a mother who has decided to homeschool her son Will going forward…
  • Joyce, a grandmother who saw how one of her granddaughters thrived with in-person schooling, and struggled with virtual learning, and…
  • Daniel, a private school teacher in Wisconsin who was thankful to return to the classroom this semester, while unions have kept many local public schools closed.

School choice options like scholarship programs that allow students to attend private schools, charter schools, and homeschooling have always been worth celebrating and expanding, but this year, school closures and battles over the content of lessons, they are more important than ever when so many parents and children have been failed completely by public schools.