No more eenie-meenie-minie-moe schools: Alberta Wilson, school choice advocate – podcastED

It’s easy to forget, with new voucher programs in Indiana and Louisiana, with school choice verging on mainstream in Florida, with so many other states moving the ball on vouchers and charters and virtual education, that the choice movement was a lonely place not long ago.

Alberta Wilson was a foot soldier more than a decade ago – she founded scholarship funding organizations in Pennsylvania and Virginia – and she remains a stalwart today. At a school choice rally in Virginia earlier this year, the founder of the Faith First Educational Assistance Corp. told the crowd it’s time for parents to end an educational system that plays “eenie, meenie, minie, moe” with their kids’ lives.

“I said no longer are we leaving it up to chance, whether or not that parent has the income, whether or not they’re in the correct zip code” to determine if a child has access to a quality school, Wilson said in the redefinED podcast below.

The remedy for chance, she said, is more choice. And she’s pumped by the accelerated pace of change: “I believed that it would only be a matter of time, and we would see the dream realized,” she said. “And we’re seeing that right now.”

But hurdles remain. Like us, Wilson thinks there is a big need to redefine public education so it’s no longer synonymous with public schools. She sees public schools as one of many options under a broad umbrella of public education, with parents using public money to pick the options they think are best.

It’s a distinction that much of the public doesn’t get, yet. Wilson pointed to a recent state legislative hearing where lawmakers said they wouldn’t back school choice options until public education was fully funded.

“What they meant was, until public school was fully funded,” she said. “So they’re the legislators and if they don’t get it, I’m telling you, we have a lot of work to do in redefining this terminology.”

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at


Tywana Hampton

What a power packed 15 minutes!

As a parent of a 4th grader who attended a Christian school for Kindergarten and first grade and then public school from second through fourth grades, I can truly relate to the material covered in this Podcast. When the school is an extension of what is being taught in the home, more focus can be placed on academics. I spend a lot of time explaining to my son why we have the values we have. One of our biggest struggles comes at Halloween time. Our Christian beliefs don’t allow for celebation of Halloween. I dread this time of year every year.

It would be awesome if every state would enact education choice legislation. I would love to see individual tax payers be able to direct their tax dollars to their school of choice.

This was a awesome PodCast, and Dr. Wilson did an excellent job of explaining what school choice is and how if figures into the “public’s education”.

I will never confuse public education and public schools again!

Hi Ms. Hampton, thank you so much for listening to the podcast – and for taking time to write about your views. I am grateful to Dr. Wilson for her time with me and for sharing her knowledge about these issues. And I am grateful to parents like you for your willingness to speak up. I was a news reporter for many years before my new gig. I know how much of a difference it makes to policy makers and decision makers when they hear from parents.

What a plain and consise representation of why school choice is important in America! To understand Dr. Wilson’s clear presentation of the distinguishing definitions of “public school” and “public education” is needed by all Americans interested in the education of America’s youth. We are in a war for their minds and hearts. Public schools have clearly required the teaching of moral character be left outside the doors of their buildings. So Dr. Wilson’s common sense approach to parents’ delimma is refresing and hopeful! THREE CHEERS FOR SCHOOL CHOICE!!

Gerry Rogers

wow what a fantastic interview. It really gets to the heart of the matter. I say no more eenie-meenie- Minie- moe with our children’s education.

I commend Faith First and Dr. Alberta, for her dedication to the children of our country in getting back to the fundamentals of our country; that bestowed values and morals upon our families. The Christian education teaches to respect parents and elders, for without respect for some one, you will not desire to learn from them. I wished I had that option growing up, but there was no Dr. Alberta or Faith First around at that time, so my choices for examples were limited to my environment, and local schools which had prayer at the time, but that was the only place I was exposed to it. I know faith first has blessed many and instill, morals and good Biblical teaching to, what is so proudly stamped on our currency IN GOD WE TRUST. I hope many will support this organization, which will help build future leaders, to lead a nation back to God; who has kept our fore Fathers and help establish this nation. I know had I had the privilege of going to a Christan school growing up, my decisions in life would have been better and , caused a lot less pain in the lives of my friends and family. We should all support Faith first and the government should give assistance to the families who would like to get Godly morals and values, which teach, wait for marriage , respect parents, love thy neighbor, honor the government and leaders, all these fundamentals are taught in Christian schools from the Bible. Faith Choice is a blessing to our country and children s future. I pray God will give them Favor and provision to continue the vision given by God. Faith Choice is a blessing to this Nation and the World. The Bible Says , they shall all be taught of God.
John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me

Wow! A real eye opener. I was talking with my neighbor who has his children in Christian schools and gets no financial help from any other source. He does it because he believes it’s a better education and his childrens advanced capabilities and accelerated learning is proof of that. He also mentioned that his cost for private education is less than half of what his daycare cost are for his pre-school child. .The public education system is just so broken and the children and their futures are the ones suffering. Thanks for the great pod-cast.

From kindergarten to 12th grade, our children spend 14,000 seat hours in school Whoever controls those 14,000 hours controls our children’s worldview. Charles Potter, a signer of the humanistic manifesto said it best, “What can theistic Sunday school, meeting for an hour once a week, do to stem the tide of a 5 day program of humanistic teaching?” Dr. Alberta Wilson and RedefineEd remain stalwarts in educating Christian parents and American citizens who have en masse been beguiled into allowing their children and our society to be indoctrinated into a Godless, socialist, Christ abhorring educational environment. Whoever controls the education, controls the culture, and whoever controls the culture controls our future. As Christians, we should not only support Dr. Wilson and RedefinEd, we should join the fight with them, support them financially and at the ballot box. We should participate in the political process to bring about change of philosophy and direction of our public education. In order for our children to succeed, yea, if we wish this republic to continue, reclaiming our children from the public school system, and redefining public education as the education the public i.e, the parents, choose to education their children, can wait no longer. Thank you Dr. Wilson and RedefineEd. Each of you remain in my steadfast prayers and thanks.

Dr. Wilson, what a powerful story you have, and I appreciate the vision and dream you have embraced to correct the falacy of public schools versus public education.

As a mother, I am thankful for the new school choice bill which just passed in Virginia. My husband and I choose not to send our children to a public school primarily because the education quality and value system does not come close to what our children receive in the Christian school where they attend. I would share this proverb which is a basic belief for both Christians and Jews, Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. A public school system which promotes that God’s name no longer be mentioned and will no longer recognize the 10 commandments as basic rules to live by will continue to decline in morality and excellence. The truth mentioned in the proverb is basic. Do what is right regardless of whether or not your mom, dad, teacher, friends, etc., are there or whether or not anyone will ever will know what you are doing. God knows. This is the basis for a blessed life, knowledge, and wisdom; and for those who do not recognize this, well….. hmm.

Thank you for your work and vision to correct the misperceptions which are here today in America regarding public schools vs. public education!

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