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September 26, 2012

Foundation for Education Reform and The Business Council of NYS
to Host “Won't Back Down” Screening, Panel Discussion on
Parental Empowerment in Education

Foundation for Education Reform
The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

ALBANY—The Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability and the Business Council of New York State will host a screening of the new movie “Won't Back Down” at the Colonie Center Regal Theatres at the Colonie Center Mall on Wednesday, October 3rd at 5:00 p.m. The film stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis as “two determined mothers, one a teacher, who look to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.”

The film, based on actual events, tells the story behind California's “parent trigger” movement. Attendees at the screening are expected to include parents, educators, and business leaders, and a discussion panel will make comments and take questions after the screening.

As highlighted in the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability's new policy paper A Parent Trigger for New York: Empowering Parents to Reform Their Children's Schools, seven states have parent trigger laws on the books, and more than 20 others, including New York, are considering parent trigger legislation.

B. Jason Brooks, Director of Research for the foundation stated, “For decades many public schools have failed to live up to the responsibility of providing a good education for students, and parents – no matter how hard they have tried – have not been given enough power to overcome the obstacles of local bureaucracies and politics.” Brooks noted, “Reform is needed to allow parents' calls to fix their children's failing schools be heard, and to empower those parents with the ability to outline what form the needed overhaul will take.”

“Nothing is more important than our children's education, making certain they are being given the tools they need to succeed in an ever increasingly complex society,” said Heather Briccetti, President & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “In June, both the State Assembly and Senate approved legislation which allows parents to view records about the performance of their children's teachers. Teacher evaluations empower parents to hold educators accountable, and to rid the system of those who fail our children. ‘Won't Back Down' is a wonderful portrayal of that empowerment.”

Media representatives interested in attending should contact bjbrooks@nyfera.org or call (518) 383-2598 to reserve a spot. For more information on the parent trigger, policies visit www.nyfera.org.

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The Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability (FERA) is an independent, nonprofit, research organization dedicated to improving education in New York State by promoting accountability, stimulating innovation, and supporting school-choice efforts across the state.

The Business Council of New York State is a statewide association of over 2,500 member businesses, working to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York State.