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Randan Swindler

By Randan Swindler || It’s no surprise that when H. 4894 passed the S.C. House of Representatives last month, the school choice community celebrated it as a victory. The bill would allow more parents the opportunity to send their children to a school of their choice: perhaps one that isn’t failing, or maybe an institution that can better provide for a child’s special needs, or a private school that they couldn’t otherwise afford. Whatever the case may be, this piece of legislation opens the door to what could become substantial education reform for the Palmetto State.

But, not everyone is happy about that.

Across the country, there are union leaders, special interest groups, and politicians who have taken a stand against education reform for numerous reasons. They’re operating under the notion that parents are simply not sophisticated enough to know what’s best for their own children.

Take for example the recent statement by Jackie Hicks, the President of the South Carolina Education Association. When asked about the significance the recent education reforms, Hicks said, “We need to have another measure [besides parental satisfaction], because a parent could arbitrarily choose.”

It has to be asked: what could be a better indicator of a child’s success than their parent’s feedback? Who knows a child better than their own parents? Who understands their needs better than the people who raised them?

Unfortunately, Hicks is not alone in her sentiment toward parents. Other union leaders have insulted parents who are determined to remove their children from failing public schools. These on-the-record comments are so outrageous and condescending that they inspired the American Federation for Children—the nation’s voice for school choice—to launch a campaign in defense of parents. It’s aptly titled “Parents Know Best.”

The campaign is designed to expose self-interested bureaucrats and not only shine a light on the true nature of school choice opponents, but also inspire parents to unite together to demand better educational options.

Launched earlier this month with a revealing video outlining such condescending comments, the campaign will also educate parents on the various types of school choice, connect them with others in their areas who are interested in joining the education reform movement, and provide a platform for parents to work together against groups intent on maintaining the status quo.

After seeing the passage of school choice legislation in the South Carolina House—and around the country—it’s no wonder we’re witnessing these types of rhetorical attacks on parents and reform advocates.

To watch the video or for more information on the campaign, click on the video below and visit

Randan Marie Swindler is the Director of External Affairs for the American Federation for Children, one of America’s leading school choice organizations. She is a native of Blythewood, South Carolina and currently resides in Washington, D.C. You can follow her @RandanMarie.