Tag: school choice

The Teachers Are Revolting

 

Last week, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin gave each Oklahoma public school teacher a massive 15 to 18 percent pay raise funded by the largest tax increase in state history. To show their appreciation, teachers went on strike demanding even more money. Today, 200 Oklahoma school districts are shut down, with students going uneducated and parents scrambling for daycare.

Similar protests have been taking place in Kentucky, Arizona, and West Virginia. What do all these states have in common? Republicans hold the governorship and both legislative chambers. But it’s totally non-partisan and for the children … or something.

West Virginia teachers kicked off the protests with a two-week strike last month. The state government gave them a 5 percent raise to get them back to work.

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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In Banter’s seventh installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Morgridge Fellow in Education Studies Andy Smarick joins the show to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities facing rural education in America. In addition to his role at AEI, Smarick also serves as president of the Maryland State Board of Education. With AEI Research Fellow Angela Rachidi and Resident Scholar Nat Malkus, Smarick hosted an event at AEI with authors of a forthcoming edited volume on rural education in America. The volume includes pieces on topics such as rural poverty, the opioid crisis, and education policy in rural communities. The link below will take you to the full event video including links to selections from the volume.

About the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” Series

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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Richard Epstein looks at a recent Supreme Court ruling that could have major implications for when and how religious institutions can access public money.

NYT Gets It Wrong on Student Success

 

The New York Times didn’t need President Donald Trump to speak in favor of parental choice in education in his address to Congress this week to doubt its value—though that helped. Trump has said plenty in spurts of 140-characters-or-less to provoke the Times’s editors to scrutinize (putting it mildly) the President’s agenda.

On school choice, the Gray Lady’s editorial page decided “free-market mechanisms that work well in business can be damaging when applied to the lives of schoolchildren.” Here’s where parents and state policymakers should have a closer look at the evidence.

The Times uses a recent study of Ohio’s K-12 private school vouchers as evidence school choice failed students. The publicly-funded private school scholarships in this study are available to children assigned to failing public schools—a situation that could also be damaging to students if left unchecked. Thomas B. Fordham Institute researchers found that voucher students performed worse academically than their peers in public schools.

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Frederick Douglass, speaking in 1894 in Manassas, Va., said, “To deny education to any people is one of the greatest crimes against human nature.” This quotation appeared in Daniel Henninger’s latest op-ed in the WSJ, explaining that the black establishment continues to block the creation of charter schools and school choice, to the detriment of […]

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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.

Unions vs. Children

 

By and large, teachers are wonderful people who dedicate their lives to helping children achieve their full potential. Their unions, by contrast, have a very different mission.

Take the Great Chicago Library Lockout of 2017, for example. As a parent recently described in the Wall Street Journal, Pritzker Elementary in Chicago had to lay off its librarian due to a combination of budget cuts and lower-than-expected enrollment, so parents volunteered to help out to keep the library open. According to Michael Hendershot, whose daughter attends Prtizker, “There was so much interest that the parent-teacher organization created a rotating schedule of regular volunteers to help out.” That’s when the Chicago Teachers Union (and affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) intervened:

 But before parents could begin volunteering, a teachers union member filed a formal complaint with the school system, objecting to the parents’ plan. Several weeks later, a union representative appeared at a local school council meeting and informed parents that the union would not stand for parental volunteers in the library. Although the parents intended to do nothing more than help students check books in and out, the union claimed that the parents would be impermissibly filling a role reserved for teachers. The volunteer project was shut down following the meeting and the library is currently being used for dance classes.

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.

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Lawrence Krauss, professor at Arizona State University, recently opined in The New Yorker that the Trump administration is declaring a “war on science.”[1] With the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary, Krauss foregrounds education as part of this battle: DeVos is a fundamentalist Christian with a long history of opposition to science. If her […]

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School Choice Program Saved up to $3.4 Billion for Taxpayers

 

shutterstock_520970764By choosing Betsy DeVos as his nominee for the Department of Education, Donald Trump has proven his seriousness about increasing school choice and ending the Beltway’s micromanagement of local education. But whether the subject is charter schools, vouchers, distance learning, or education savings accounts, the teachers’ unions have cried foul. Their interest isn’t students, parents, or even individual teachers, but rather preserving their cut of the $670 billion K-12 market.

One set of programs that flies somewhat under the radar are tax-credit scholarship programs. Available in 15 states, they let individuals and corporations donate to scholarship granting organizations in return for tax credits. The organizations then use the donations to give scholarships to students to offset tuition payments at a private school of their families’ choice. A win-win, right? Well, union bosses don’t think so.

The National Education Association claimed that each tax-credit scholarship “threatens funding for public schools and other public services.” Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers and bête noire of educational reformers, alleged “they drain cash away from public school districts, particularly those that serve disadvantaged kids who can least afford it.”

Trump Picks School Choice Champion to Run Ed Dept

 

90In a perfect world, the President-elect would dissolve the Department of Education, salt the earth, and erect a charter school in its place. But a close second is nominating a Secretary of Education who will take on the meddling DC bureaucrats and ossified teachers’ unions. Trump did just that today by naming school choice enthusiast Betsy DeVos to the post.

“Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.

Ms. DeVos, a Republican mega-donor and chairman of the American Federation for Children, vowed to help Mr. Trump remake the education system.

What Trump’s First 100 Days Might Mean for Education Policy

 

School ChoicePresident-Elect Donald Trump has released his plans for his first 100 days in office. After outlining proposals for term limits, a trade war, and mass deportations, the plan includes the following paragraph on education policy:

School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

The details are far from clear, but it appears that his education policy will focus on three areas:

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Recently, The Federalist published an article in which the author sincerely argued that two popular social movements – Black Lives Matter (BLM) and anti-abortion/pro-life activists – pursue a common goal: the respect and preservation life. Christina Marie Bennett- a writer and pro-lifer who works with pregnant women in crisis environments for the benefit of both […]

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Hey, you there… so it’s Monday morning, long work week ahead, we know how it is.  That’s why on this week’s OppCast, we lay out everything you need to know in politics for this home stretch of election season.  From what we’ve learned since the debate, to how online hacking is shaping partisan politics, we’ll get your week started with a strong, caffeinated dose of opportunity.