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This activist wants all parents to have educational freedom for their kids

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This activist wants all parents to have educational freedom for their kids

Seventeen years ago, Corey DeAngelis made a decision in middle school that changed his life.

He applied to Communications Arts High School, a magnet high school in San Antonio, Texas, got in, and his experience there turned him into a national advocate for parents demanding a choice in their children’s education.

“Everyone wanted to be there. Everybody wanted to learn,” recalled 30-year-old DeAngelis of his magnet school.

His magnet happened to share a campus with the local traditional public school. When he took a math class in the other school’s building, the difference was stark.

“Just walking through the halls, you could see the difference immediately,” he told me. “The classrooms were disorderly. The culture incentivized bad behavior. Being in a gang and doing drugs was the cool thing to do.”

Meanwhile, the hallway at his magnet school boasted a map plotting where graduates were heading to college.

“I just saw the night-and-day difference in my four years of high school, and that really opened my mind to the concept of school choice.”

Going to this magnet school showed Corey DeAngelis the stark contrast in education.
Google Maps

When he went on to study economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, everything clicked.

“The lightbulb went off in my head,” he told me. “Thinking from the standpoint of an economist, the school system is one of the most messed up monopolistic systems we have in American society, and a lot of our problems stem from that.”

DeAngelis realized the common sense of a school choice system, through which parents are given the taxpayer funds allocated to their child — an average of $15,424 per student annually — to spend on whatever form of education best suits their family. By severing the arbitrary relationship between zip code and school quality, school choice programs foster free market competition in education. They also tangibly benefit students, increasing graduation rates by 21 percent and reducing rates of crime.

“Funding should follow the decision of a family, wherever that leads,” DeAngelis said. “The money doesn’t belong to government schools in the first place. Education funding is for educating children, not for propping up any institution.”

After earning his PhD in education policy from the University of Arkansas in 2018, DeAngelis became an activist, rigorously researching the benefits of school choice and advocating for legislative change.

People hold up signs during a rally against “critical race theory” (CRT) being taught in schools.
AFP via Getty Images

“I would like other people to have the educational options that work for them because that had an enormous, positive impact on my life trajectory,” he told me.

DeAngelis serves as National Director of Research at the American Federation for Children. He is also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a senior fellow at the Reason Foundation, and Executive Director at the Educational Freedom Institute — all by the age of 30. He has also authored 32 peer reviewed studies, made hundreds of speaking engagements and television appearances, and was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list this year.

Meanwhile, his efforts are making waves. He said he is contacted regularly by parents across the nation thanking him for opening their eyes to their educational options, and he even hears from students who credit school choice programs with saving their lives.

State by state, progress is being made towards broadening school choice. Florida and Arizona have historically led the way on educational freedom, and just this year, West Virginia passed the most expansive education savings account program in the country.

Student working remotely
Many parent’s eyes were open during the pandemic as to how their children are being taught.
Shutterstock/insta_photos

However, the tristate area is lagging behind. “New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are way behind the curve when it comes to educational freedom,” Corey told me, “Over 30 states now have some form of private school choice, but New York, New Jersey and Connecticut families are currently missing out on those opportunities.”

Recently, his activism gained even more steam during the COVID-19 pandemic as parents across the country saw, in their own living rooms, exactly how public schools were failing their kids.

After nearly two years of mask mandates and Zoom school, parents are now demanding a say in how their children are taught. This year alone, 18 states have enacted or expanded school option programs. Meanwhile, the proportion of households that say they are homeschooling their kids rose from 5.4 percent in spring of 2020 to 11.1 percent that fall.

“2021 is the year of school choice,” said DeAngelis, who currently does not have kids of his own. “There’s a huge uptick of momentum for securing parental rights and educational freedom. COVID didn’t break the public school system, but it has shined a spotlight on the main problem with K-12 education, which happens to be the massive power imbalance between the government school monopoly and individual families.”

Corey DeAngelis
After earning his PhD in education policy in 2018, DeAngelis became an activist.
Samuel Corum for NY Post

Despite all his successes, DeAngelis won’t stop his fight until every student and parent nationwide has control over their educational destiny.

“If you can fix the education system in our country, you will fix a lot of our other problems, many of which are the result of inadequate education,” he said.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but there’s a long way to go when it comes to unleashing educational freedom for every child.”

Rikki Schlott is a 21-year-old NYU student, journalist, activist and fellow at FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
USA TODAY Sports

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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