Let’s Focus on
the Students

October 2017

A Letter from the Frontline Education CEO


Dear Readers,

In advance of this second print issue, The Line editorial team conducted an online poll about school choice. The poll asked this question: can there be strong public schools and choice? In the 2,000 plus responses, we learned that people seemed fairly evenly divided on the subject. Still when we asked a smaller group who identified as education leaders to define choice, their answers weren’t so black and white but indicated many different shades of gray. There was no single clear definition of choice.

The responses to this second question varied widely with some answers equating choice with vouchers or, more generally, financial support to attend a school beyond district boundaries. Others described choice as parental ability to decide where to send their children to school. Very few characterized choice in a way that emphasized student needs and outcomes. Is it possible that we need to bring our thinking and actions back to what is best for students?

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela

With that in mind, I invite you to explore The Line featuring the voices of many different education leaders who have contributed to this conversation about school choice. Let us dispel the notion that those who disagree with us have bad intentions or do not share our passion for giving all students access to quality education. Instead, please use this issue as a starting point for more in-depth exchange of ideas and the expression of common ground.

Advocating for civil conversation and the sometimes-hard work of finding common ground is the purpose of The Line and an extension of Frontline Education’s mission to serve those on the front line of education. We are committed to being a resource for education leaders — helping them problem-solve and improve outcomes. I can think of no better way to do that than through The Line.

On behalf of Frontline, my thanks to all of the contributors to the publication for sharing their thoughts and advancing the mission of The Line. To John, Tony, Elizabeth and team, thank you again for helping us support the challenging and good work of all of the education leaders who every day stand on the front line of education.


Tim Clifford

Tim Clifford | President & CEO
Frontline Education

On Civil Discourse

The Line’s purpose is to offer new ideas and insight and encourage civil discourse on the most significant K-12 issues we face.

E editor@thelinek12.com

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