Ultimately, Ford pitches a scholarship program that is federally funded, aimed at helping underprivileged children study in private schools. Excited! In 32 of these studies there were positive effects on public schools. Yes, ‘Miss Virginia’ is based on a true story. © 2020 Cinemaholic Inc. All rights reserved. I’m so excited and humbled that so many more families will be able to watch this film from the comfort of their homes. I am an Assistant Communications Director at the Institute for Justice (IJ), a public interest law firm. She confronted their myths head on, won a victory for DC students, and now her story is a movie showing on big and small screens all over the country—Miss Virginia. To accomplish that goal, Virginia has to overcome the myths put forth by the opposition, the first of which is that educational choice programs take money from public schools. All images property of their respective owners.

The Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education, stating that segregated educational institutions automatically meant inequality. Currently, she still travels the country, talking to parents, and educational groups, encouraging people to realize the value of advocacy. She is also a grandmother to Yamundow Virginia, Chloe, Jeremiah, and Genesis. Starring Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine, and Niles Fitch. In the film “Miss Virginia,” Uzo Aduba plays the role of Virginia Walden Ford, a mother trying to get a better education for her son, played by Niles Fitch. Thus, Virginia’s backbone against discrimination in education was formed at an early age, and from personal experiences. Virginia grew up in the deep South and is a resident of Little Rock. Log in, HOW TO FIGHT FOR WHAT MATTERS WITH VIRGINIA WALDEN FORD, How to fight for what matters, especially against all odds, How to have confidence for public speaking, How to take action, even in the face of crippling fear – and how to deal with the pressure you feel when you are fighting for something that matters tremendously, Learning experience from Virginia Walden Ford.

During the 1990s, Virginia Walden Ford was a single mom of three children in Washington, D.C. She was shocked at the condition of the local public schools. Yet, the majority of DC public school students struggle in schools with low graduation rates and serious problems with crime and violence.

When Virginia Walden Ford struggles to raise her son in a low-income neighborhood in Washington DC, she has no intention of seeing her boy drop out and sell drugs. Virginia then makes it her quest to create a new school choice scholarship program in DC modeled after existing programs in Milwaukee and Cleveland. While Virginia was not a member of the Little Rock Nine, she was among the students inspired to follow suit, and join the school. As is evident from her tweet, which you can check out below, Virginia is also rather fond of the movie ‘Miss Virginia’, which documents her remarkable story. Two DC schools may be only miles apart, but worlds away. Ford takes a job as a janitor at her local congresswoman’s office to support herself. Finally, a common misconception of educational choice programs is that they benefit only the best and brightest students from affluent families. She collected petitions and teamed up with lawmakers as well as educational organizers in the nation.

However, she continues her struggle and is successful. While educational choice scholarships have grown nationwide in the 15 years since the events depicted in the movie, there are many places in the United States where there is either no educational choice program or where funds are maxed out and children are turned away each year.

In the movie, Virginia concludes her Congressional testimony by saying, “There is no opportunity if there is no education. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Even promising students struggle to get a basic education. Follow me on Twitter @andrewwimer. As a member of IJ’s. As she is emptying a waste basket, she comes across a report about school spending showing just how much DC public schools spend per pupil—twice the amount of what she is trying to raise for her son’s tuition.

To give him a better future, she enrolls him in a private school, even though it is more expensive.

But Virginia Walden Ford never hid when her opponents lobbed vicious charges at her. Follow me on Twitter @andrewwimer. Several of them went to college and now have rewarding careers, all of which has been possible due to Virginia Ford’s inspirational struggle. Virginia has two other children, Miashia Walden Gaye, and William Walden. Another charge lobbed at Virginia’s push for scholarships was that students remaining in the public schools would be worse off. Those further increases haven’t moved the needle much in DC, where 30 percent of students still don’t graduate on time. When President Obama’s Department of Education studied its own $3.5 billion investment in the nation’s worst performing schools, it concluded that the spending failed to produce any meaningful results. Finally, she got Congress and George W. Bush to sign the legislation, and the Opportunity Scholarship Program was enacted in 2003. MISS VIRGINIA is inspired by the story of Virginia Walden Ford, a struggling single mother from a low-income neighborhood in Washington, DC. We see the relationship between Virginia Ford and her son, Michael Walden. Miss Virginia is a feature film based on the inspiring true story of Virginia Walden Ford, a struggling single mother in Washington, D.C., who launched a movement to save her son. Wealthy enclaves in Northwest DC have some of the nation’s most exclusive and high-powered private schools and are also home to several quality public schools. Another prominent myth put forward by those who oppose educational choice programs is that students don’t benefit academically. Virginia was alive when the education system in the US underwent a massive change, as far as inclusivity was concerned. In the film, a DC lawmaker says that Virginia’s plan will hurt poor people and signs shown in the film say that Virginia is “destroying our public schools.” To the contrary, there is overwhelming evidence that educational choice programs help struggling public schools. Over the years, per pupil spending continued to rise at DC schools and is now over $19,000 per pupil. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Prior to starting with IJ in 2018, I served as a speechwriter for a cabinet secretary and before that spent a decade on Capitol Hill serving in communications and legislative roles for several members of the House of Representatives. ‘Miss Virginia’ is now on Netflix and brings a stupendous tale of grit, as one woman fights tooth and nail to change the American education system. She faces threats, resistance, and a genuine danger to her life. As a member of IJ’s communications team, I promote litigation that protects and expands liberty for clients across the United States. Today, she enjoys some fame in Little Rock as an activist, and has penned her experiences in the book “Voices, Choices, and Second Chances.” She also came out with another book in November 2019, titled “School Choice: A Legacy to Keep.”. Virginia Walden Ford’s modest two-story home in northeast Washington, DC seems nondescript from the curb. Again, affluent and upper middle-class DC residents already had access to quality private and public schools, it was economically struggling families who needed help.

Virginia enrolled in 1966 but faced racism not just from the students. My work has been published by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, USA Today, and numerous other newspapers nationwide. In a meeting at the school (which she enters only after checking in with an officer and passing through a metal detector), the principal tells Virginia that the school simply can’t worry very much about students who don’t want to be there. Instead of giving up, Virginia enrolls her son at an orderly and creative private academy. Virginia amassed massive support, at great personal risk, including death threats. Studies have shown that students receiving DC Opportunity Scholarships graduate from high school and attend college at higher rates. When Virginia Walden Ford struggles to raise her son in a low-income neighborhood in Washington DC, … Spending had been rising consistently for years, yet academic progress had stagnated or declined.

Naturally, you might be wondering if this courageous tale is based on a true story, and we have got you covered in that regard.

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