Tag: vouchers

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Tommy Schultz, CEO-elect of the American Federation for Children (AFC). They discuss how COVID-19 school closures have increased the interest in alternatives to public schools, and what AFC’s polling shows on shifts in attitudes toward school choice options in both urban and rural communities. He shares predictions for school choice policymaking in the Biden administration and the largely Republican-controlled state legislatures. They explore the past successes of the left-right coalition in K-12 education reform that delivered charter schools, testing, and accountability, but has since splintered, and how the remnants of that coalition might respond to the teachers’ unions. Tommy offers insights into how advocates will need to communicate and mobilize state-by-state over the next five years to dramatically expand private school choice programs like vouchers, scholarship tax credits, and education savings account programs, which currently serve approximately 550,000 out of 56 million total K-12 students.

Stories of the Week: A new Pioneer Institute report on Boston’s only vocational high school (which also received coverage in The Boston Globe) calls for improved alignment between course and co-op offerings, and actual employment opportunities. New research from EducationNext raises concerns about over-diagnosis of Black and Hispanic students in special education programs. In some school districts, students are continuing remote learning, even while playing on sports teams – is this the right message to send about academic priorities?

Corey DeAngelis is the director of School Choice at Reason Foundation and the Executive Director at Educational Freedom Institute. Corey and Bridget discuss school choice, which would mean allowing a tax payer’s education dollars to follow their child to wherever they’re getting their education – public school, private school, or charter school – rather than automatically being paid to their local school district. They delve into the effects of Covid and how families are seeing their school system leaving them high and dry while still getting their children’s education dollars, why school choice would be good for individual teachers, and where the money being poured into the school system is actually going. They also cover why this shouldn’t be a partisan issue since it’s a market-based reform in education and an equalizer in society, and they explore some of the arguments against school choice. Don’t miss Corey’s book School Choice Myths: Setting the Record Straight on Education Freedom.

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From Andrea Widburg, American Thinker: The San Francisco Unified School District is using the Wuhan virus as an excuse to finish destroying what was once one of the best public high schools in the country. Those who object have gotten a snootful of Critical Race Theory (CRT) for daring to believe in academic excellence. Preview […]

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School Voucher Plans Can Stop the Propaganda Machines of the Left

 

Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, has been going at warp speed to make changes in the state. His latest effort is to deal with a 14,000-student waiting list for a state tax credit scholarship program. But he’s getting resistance from the usual suspects—the school unions and traditional administrators. I realized, however, that the fight is about much more than union control; it’s about who controls the minds of our children.

Gov. Jeb Bush started the first-in-the-nation private voucher program, enacted in 1999. Unfortunately his efforts were stopped:

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for February 16, 2018, it’s number 162, the Liz Warren 2020! edition of the show with your humble hosts, Todd Feinburg, radio guy and Mike Stopa nanophysicist. This week, in anticipation of her nomination, election and coronation in 2020, is our all Liz week! What’s the point of swimming upstream? Socialism is nigh. We didn’t build it! Who doesn’t need a shrill school marm to keep us all in line? Who doesn’t yearn for that Patron Saint of people who can’t read the fine print on their credit card application?

We will reveal some things you never knew about Granny Warren and discuss some things you know only too well.

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.

Are We Really “Conservatives?”

 
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Is this really us?

Ricochet is home to a lot of debates; typically among those of us on who identify with the Political Right. As a matter of convenience, we call ourselves “conservatives” and our opponents “liberals.” Much has been written about the derivation of these terms and how they came to be in common usage today. I don’t want to re-hash that history lesson. I’m more interested in figuring out if we here are actually conservatives or if we are … something else.

Jeb Bush: Conservative or Merely Responsible?

 

shutterstock_296439938On the first post-debate flagship podcast, Peter and Rob proclaimed Jeb Bush’s record as governor of Florida as “indisputably conservative.” Conservative has two meanings. On the one hand, it means sticking to established and safe principles, avoiding unnecessary risk, and — essentially — “being responsible.” Most the elements Peter and Rob discussed about Bush’s record fit this category, and I agree that Bush was a responsible governor. In the other sense, “conservative” carries an ideological meaning, indicating a will to preserve the values that led to the Revolution against the King. These are traditional Germanic/English legal principles with a heavy dose of liberal Enlightenment thought. The distinguishing characteristic of this sense of conservatism is a wariness of state action.

Bush’s record in Florida — particularly in education reform, for which he is often cited as a major innovator — is a mixed bag, with some characteristics that appeal to ideological conservatives and others that favor the more responsibility-centered definition of that word. Bush was indisputably acting out of ideological conservatism when he ended affirmative action in college admissions, as racial discrimination has been a hallmark of progressives all along. He also made a real effort to break the back of the government-run school monopoly through introducing the United States’ first-state wide voucher and charter-school programs. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of Florida found the voucher program violated the state constitution, and ended it in its ninth year. Bush then attempted to amend the constitution to allow the program, but was stymied in part by Republicans in the Florida Senate.

“Quit using public money to send our kids to private schools,” said Republican State Senator Dennis Jones, one of four Republicans to torpedo the amendment.

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I recently participated in a lengthy round table on race at my church, and the subject of white privilege cropped up. Repeatedly. I think the common definition of “white privilege” is WAY off-base. From Wikipedia: White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people beyond what is commonly […]

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