Does your state offer you the power to make decisions about your child's future? Click through this gallery to find out.
The rankings are part of the Parent Power Index, composed by the Center for Education Reform, and are meant to provide parents with a tool that tells them how much power they have in their state when it comes to their child's education. It also offers ways parents can have a greater voice.
Having power as a parent means that you are well informed about your options and are provided with good information to make the best decisions for your children. Criteria the Center for Education Reform takes into consideration includes:
Charter Schools: The degree to which states offer or provide for a significant number of charter opportunities to families.
School Choice: Programs where a significant number of parents can obtain scholarships and other forms of state support to send their kids to schools of their choice.
Teacher Quality: Whether or not states ensure high-quality individuals can teach without barriers to entry score higher, if teacher effectiveness is judged on objective data, and if states focus on attracting, retaining, and rewarding teachers.
Transparency: States are judged based on the transparency and accessibility of data for the average person.
Online Learning: The accessibility of full-time online or blended schooling.
Click through for a list of the ten states that give parents the greatest power to make decisions about their child's future.
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The reason Wisconsin is included in the top 10, according to the Center for Education Reform, is because the state has a charter school law, enables public virtual schooling, has a data system which "has the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness," and because school performance data is on the state's website and is accessible and easy to understand.
(Photo: Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images)
According to the Parent Power Index, Minnesota "is truly a stellar state for digital learning, with virtual, blended and distance schooling possible and readily accessible. Minnesota also offers widespread choices for students to attend or re-enroll in public or postsecondary opportunities that count for both secondary and higher education. Transparency in data and decision making caps it off, making Minnesota a leader in reform, and putting this star at the top."
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Utah made the list because the state's charter school law "provides equitable funding to charter schools, facilities funding, and a strong authorizing system that includes capable independent bodies such as universities and the semi-independent state charter board."
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Pennsylvania makes the list because of their plethora of digital learning options and the number of charter schools. Also, the state allows parents "to vote for their elected school boards in traditionally-timed elections."
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Much has changed in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina. In the last seven years, according to the Parent Power Index, "thousands of children once stuck in failing schools now have access to the private schools of their choice, and a robust charter law serves students in need."
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5. District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., has the largest percentage of students in charter schools in the U.S. Also, a popular scholarship program gives more power to parents.
(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
According to the Parent Power Index, "a scholarship program for students with disabilities, and a tax credit have helped more than 30,000 students to opt into new schools. In addition, a pioneering charter law has provided more than 200,000 children with choices about their schooling."
(Photo: John Kieffer/Getty Images)
The Buckeye State has many high-quality charter options and teacher quality measures are "above average."
(Photo: John Biever/Getty Images)
When it comes to transforming education for the digital age, Florida is leading the charge. According to the Index, the state "ranks consistently in the top ten for its charter laws" and is a "leader in providing educational options for children with broad school choice programs."
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Indiana tops the list for many reasons, including their charter school law, a "path-breaking, statewide school choice program," and a "pretty decent record of teacher quality measures that put the public in the driver's seat."
Center for Education Reform President Jeanne Allen said in a release that "the Parent Power Index represents the first time someone has quantified for parents how much power they do or don't have over their child's education. And just as important, PPI educates parents on how to use the power they do have as well as how to get more."
Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles.Email Jenny | @jennyinglee | TakePart.com