Tag: Education Reform

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara celebrate the 30th anniversary of charter schools with Nina Rees, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. They discuss recent research showing that African-American and low-income students in charter public schools outpace their peers in traditional district schools. Stanford’s Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) and other sources have shown that Boston’s charter public schools lead all the nation’s urban public schools in terms of academic performance and bridging achievement gaps. Yet, special interests and policymakers have been calling for stringent limitations and regulations on these schools and their growth. Nina offers insights on where the right-left charter school coalition stands and how to bridge recent partisan divisions. She shares thoughts on how the sector can grow despite the rising influence of teacher unions in states with some of the highest-performing charters. Nina also describes efforts charter schools have made to become leaders in increasing teacher diversity, and they explore how teacher- and school-driven improvements in charters such as KIPP may hold the key to the future of K-12 education reform.

Stories of the Week: In Maine, a state scholarship program that assists families with tuition for public or private schools – but not religious schools – may become the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court case. President Biden’s American Families Plan includes $9 billion to address the nation’s teacher shortage, providing funding for teacher preparation, professional development, and retention programs, as well as initiatives to increase teacher diversity.

Covid Debacle Should Spur Education Reform

 

The Arizona legislature failed this year to pass a bill that would have required third-grade students to be held back if they failed to learn to read adequately. The unsuccessful bill uncovered some unhappy truths about the state of education.

Third grade is recognized as a critical progression point for reading proficiency. Students through third grade are taught to read, after which they are expected to read to learn. Those unable to do so suffer a lifelong handicap in today’s knowledge economy with enormous economic and social consequences.

In 2019, 60 percent of Arizona’s third-graders failed to meet our own reading standards. Unfortunately, nothing really new here.

Nicole Stelle Garnett joins Brian Anderson to discuss the importance of Catholic schools, their struggle to compete with charter schools, and what the Supreme Court’s recent Espinoza decision will mean for private-school choice—the subjects of her story, “Why We Still Need Catholic Schools,” in City Journal’s new summer issue.

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This week has culminated with three major meetings between the president, vice president, and African American leaders from a variety of backgrounds. These were all listening rather than top down talking sessions. President Trump started in the White House and then went to a large church in Dallas, Texas. In Dallas, the president set forth […]

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Juneteenth: Emancipation Day

 

On June 19, 1865, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger read General Orders, Number 3, to the people of Galveston, Texas. It was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, but at last the words of freedom came to African-American slaves in Texas. This day became known as Juneteenth, and eventually became first an unofficial holiday and then a holiday recognized by some states.

General Granger wrote, in part:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

 

This screenshot is from The New York Times website on April 25, 2019. It was nestled among other stories. So, how do you think this lede got by the brain of the person who posted it alongside this photograph? Really?

You are looking at the school principal. Look at her. Now read the last sentence of the summary, intended to induce you to click and read more. “The dress code has been criticized as racist and elitist.” Roll that around your tongue. Swish to get all the flavor notes.

Consider the description of the clothing banned. Does it really describe poor white garb, rather than poor black or Latino? Think for just a moment.

School Choice and Civics: A Brief Note Inspired by Jonah Goldberg

 

I had the opportunity to watch a live stream of an event hosted by the Fordham Institute, Education 20/20. Jonah Goldberg was one of the two featured speakers. It was great, and I appreciated that Michael Petrelli, who was the moderator, highlighted that the best approach to addressing the issue was persuasion.

Mr. Goldberg mentioned that the private schools in his area (the DMV) are highly progressive in their approach, relying on the Howard Zinn narrative of American history. He noted that “school choice” may not solve the issue of kids not learning civics, tying this issue to the larger Schumpeterian phenomenon of the elites failing to pass along the values that made their position and wealth (capitalism itself) possible.

Business leaders, educators, and nonprofit donors across the country are intensifying efforts to revamp career and technical education in the United States. Recently, City Journal convened a panel of experts to talk about how these efforts can be applied in American high schools.

Fixing America’s crisis of long-term, persistent joblessness will also require major upgrades to K-12 education, where big spending increases and centralization of control in Washington have delivered disappointing results.

When $63 Million Doesn’t Buy Working Toilets

 

When 450 students arrived at Anacostia High School in the District of Columbia’s southeast neighborhood on April 4, they found that few of the sinks or toilets were functioning and the cafeteria was flooded. They were advised by the Department of General Services to use the facilities at a middle school two blocks away until repairs could be completed.

Exasperated teachers organized an impromptu, hour-long walkout to protest, which is why this particular dysfunction made the news. A casual reader might note the plumbing fiasco and chalk it up to neglect of poor students and poor neighborhoods. That is the interpretation urged by DC Council Member Trayon White, Sr. who attended the walkout and declared that “The students and teachers need support from the leaders of the city because of the constant neglect happening at Anacostia.”

But it’s far from so simple. The District of Columbia has one of the worst performing public school systems in the country. It is also one of the most generously funded. Anacostia High School itself received a $63 million renovation in 2013. According to the DC school’s website, the project included “Full modernization and renovation of the existing high school using an adaptive re-use approach. Modernization . . . included; exterior restoration, roofing, systems replacement, ADA improvements, phased occupancy, technology enhancements, and sustainable design initiatives.” But not, it seems, working toilets.

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The teen responses I have heard in response to the school shooting in Florida provide no indication that they have applied any critical thinking or analysis, nor that there are any teachers encouraging critical and analytical thinking. I recognize that teen brains are still developing, and that teen hormones mean that emotions often overtake thinking. […]

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This week on Banter we’re joined by Mike McShane for a discussion on education reform in the Bush and Obama administrations. Dr. McShane is the director of national research at EdChoice and a former research fellow in education policy studies at AEI. He cohosted a public event on the history of education reform in the Bush and Obama years, which featured a keynote address from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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Max Eden joins Seth Barron to discuss student discipline and suspension policies, and how discipline “reform” has led to chaos in many classrooms.

In January 2014, in an attempt to reduce out-of-school suspensions, an Obama administration directive forced thousands of American schools to change their discipline policies. Proponents of the new discipline rules say that teachers and school administrators have been racially discriminatory in meting out punishments, creating a massive disparity in suspension rates between white and black students. Their claims, however, ignore the significant discrepancies in student behavior.

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Alabama special election turnout points to a serious problem in the midterms and 2020 if President Trump does not lead his administration in focused action and messaging towards African Americans. He must peel off enough traditionally Democratic votes to help keep and expand his legislative majorities. Fortunately, President Donald Trump has had his heart and […]

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This week on Banter, Eva Moskowitz joined the show to discuss her new book, “The Education of Eva Moskowitz.” Moskowitz is the founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools, the highest-performing public charter school network in New York City. Formerly, Moskowitz served as a New York City councilmember. She joined AEI resident scholar Rick Hess for a conversation at AEI about her new book and efforts to reform America’s education system. The link below will take you to the full event video.

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In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Nat Malkus welcomes Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, Stephen Raudenbush, and Lisa Rosen, the authors of “The Ambitious Elementary School: Its Conception, Design, and Implications for Educational Equality,” to AEI to discuss school design, personalized instruction, and educational equality.

The authors open the event by describing their theory of school reform and its implementation at the University of Chicago Charter School. Their efforts have reduced racial inequality and improved reading ability among elementary school students. In short, the authors advocate for increased collaboration among teachers, administrators, and parents and for systemic approaches to school turnarounds.

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I come across this truth frequently: Just because someone is an expert in one area it doesn’t mean they’re an expert in another area. We often make the mistake, though, of assigning expertise to someone simply because they’re really good at something else, or because they’re just smart. The current example I provide is the […]

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Today marks the last day of School Choice Week 2017, a nationwide celebration with more than 21,000 events in all 50 state.  But even though the uplifting message of the week is stronger than ever, we want to break down why all these rallying cries absolutely must be transformed into real political action.  That’s why we’re bringing you a special American Enterprise Institute presentation by Professor Howard Fuller of Marquette University, who will explain the role of race and class in modern education reform.

Want Satisfied Parents? Empower Them to Choose

 

Parents are more satisfied with their child’s learning environment when they choose it. Indeed, as economist Tyler Cowen put it recently, “the single most overwhelming (yet neglected) empirical fact” about educational choice programs is that “they improve parent satisfaction.” A slew of new reports add a number of hefty boulders to the mountain of evidence.

As I explained in greater detail last week, bureaucrats tend to focus excessively on test scores but parents take a more holistic approach to evaluating the quality of an education provider. As Cowen notes, “parents may like the academic programs, teacher skills, school discipline, safety, student respect for teachers, moral values, class size, teacher-parent relations, parental involvement, and freedom to observe religious traditions, among other facets of school choice.” Parents know their children are more than scores.

Trump Wants Dollars to Follow Students

 

-a97c8b5d79899838Donald Trump unveiled several policy specifics Thursday during a visit to an Ohio charter school. At the inner-city Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, Trump said, “As President, I will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty.”

He added, “If we can put a man on the moon, dig out the Panama Canal and win two world wars, then I have no doubt that we as a nation can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America.”

Later that day, Trump released a full list of education reform proposals: