It’s the Elites vs. the Underdogs in the Battle for Education Choice

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Posted: Oct 01, 2020 12:01 AM

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If there is one unifying strand that runs through the character of our nation, it is that America loves an underdog. From the Revolution, to Roosevelt, to Rocky, our country has always embraced the fighting spirit of those who triumph against difficult odds to achieve a worthy cause.

Conversely we hold far less affection for those in authority who wield power with abandon, entrenched elites who write the rules to keep everyone in their place. The story of our nation is an ongoing tale of these opposing forces; the elites who thrive on power and demand allegiance to their dictates, and individual Americans struggling for the right to be free from control. And nowhere today do we see this battle in such stark contrast as in

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Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, on the Battle Over RBG’s Seat and Making Every Vote Count

Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense And Education Fund, Inc. Credit – Andre Chung—The Washington Post/Getty Images

(Miss this week’s The Leadership Brief? This interview below was delivered to the inbox of Leadership Brief subscribers on Sunday morning, Sept. 27; to receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.)

With the President and Attorney General waging an unceasing disinformation campaign to undermine public confidence in the presidential election, Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), is bracing for post–Nov. 3 battle. In an earlier stint at the LDF, one of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations, Ifill specialized in litigating voting-rights cases. After leaving to teach law and write books, she returned in 2013, as the first female director to head the organization founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1940. (The LDF became

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Battle Ground schools Parent Academy helps families navigate kids’ virtual learning

Cassondra Smith’s office looks more like a semi-pro film studio these days, complete with a glowing ring light and heavy-duty microphone.

The Vancouver woman is an educational technology coach for Battle Ground Public Schools, a job whose pandemic purpose is evident in her title. Usually, Smith is working to help teachers navigate their classroom websites and digital assignments. In this time of virtual learning from home, she’s busier than ever.

“With distance learning it is very challenging trying to get students to access their assignments, to connect with their teachers,” Smith said. “Things are just brand new right now.”

For frazzled families, there can be no greater barrier to virtual learning than connecting to classes. It’s why Battle Ground Public Schools launched its Parent Academy program this school year, giving parents class work of their own to help them navigate virtual learning.

Smith is among those teachers spending a few

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