Beth Milne is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

We did it.

Nine months ago we began a campaign to put achievement first in Rhode Island by bringing an exceptional school with a proven track record of closing the achievement gap to our state.

More than 150 phone calls and 800 emails to public officials, 400 petition signatures, an issue brief and Seven Facts in Seven Days later, I’m thrilled to report that we got exactly what we asked for.

Just a few minutes ago the Board of Regents voted yes on Achievement First’s application to open a mayoral academy in Providence. With this vote, the Board of Regents said “yes” to Rhode Island kids. Yes, you deserve great public school options. Yes, you should determine your destiny, not your zip code. Yes, we can close the achievement gap.

Today’s victory also sets the stage for the work that lies ahead. In just a few days we will be unveiling our 2012 legislative campaign, which will advocate for some of the boldest reforms our state has ever known. The fight for Achievement First taught us that while challenging the status quo is never easy, it is possible. It’s also absolutely crucial if we want to make our schools the envy of the nation, and the world.

We’ve proven that by rallying together, we can demand excellence for our children—and our public officials will listen. So thank you for continuing to stand up for Rhode Island kids. It made all the difference in what happened today, and it will make all the difference in what happens tomorrow.


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