Archive for May, 2008

May
14th 2008
Opportunity of New School Choice Program Keeps Georgia on My Mind

Posted under School Choice

Exciting news! Kids all over the state of Georgia have new education opportunities, thanks to a law signed today that creates new tax credits for donations to private school scholarship programs. I bet the guy who wrote this article may have some second thoughts.

Education researcher Greg Forster has the details of the new law from the Friedman Foundation, including:

· All Georgia public school students eligible

· Both individual and corporate taxpayers may donate

· Program capped at $50 million

What a great deal! If Colorado only had something like this for kids like me and my friends….

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May
14th 2008
Come to Flunked: The Movie on May 21

Posted under Independence Institute

Do you live around Denver? Are you concerned about educational opportunity in Colorado? Do you want to see real-world examples of what can be done to fix our current public education system? Then please save the date of Wednesday, May 21. The Independence Institute is sponsoring the Colorado debut of Flunked: The Movie, a 47-minute film that’s more exciting than your average documentary. Here’s a preview:

To learn more, listen to an iVoices podcast interview with the producer of Flunked. If you are interested in coming to watch the film on May 21, go here to find out how to sign up.

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May
9th 2008
Smart Guy Points to Growing Evidence that School Choice Really Works

Posted under Research & School Choice

Over at Jay Greene’s blog, Greg Forster writes a long (but good) essay about the quality of school choice research. It seems the more evidence comes out, the weaker school choice opponents’ arguments get:

What is one to make of all this? The more facts and evidence we provide, the more we’re accused of ignoring the facts and evidence – by people who themselves fail to address the facts and evidence we provide.

I’m tempted to say that there’s a word for that sort of behavior. And there may be some merit in that explanation, though of course I have no way of knowing. But I also think there’s something else going on as well.

One prominent blogger put it succinctly to me over e-mail. The gist of his challenge was something like: “Why don’t you just admit that all this evidence and data is just for show, and you really support school choice for ideological reasons?”

Greg reminds us there’s a lot of evidence out there – both from Milwaukee and from Florida (and again) – that not only does school choice help boost results for students who make the choice but also that competition has a positive effect on the traditional public schools.

It’s a good summary from a smart guy who knows this stuff very well. Too bad there isn’t movement toward giving kids here in Colorado more school choice.

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May
7th 2008
Denver Parents Want More Successful Charter Schools to Choose From

Posted under Denver & Public Charter Schools & School Choice

I’m excited to feature this story from today’s Denver Post in my first post, because it’s a big part of what this blog is all about! Parents in Denver have seen several amazing, successful charter schools at work and are demanding more:

“We want this for our kids and our families,” said Luci Saenz, mother of a child at Valdez Elementary. “We are ready to fight. We believe in our children, and we believe they deserve it.”

Like other urban districts, Denver Public Schools has had trouble educating the city’s poorest students. But two charter middle schools on the city’s west side have proved it can be done.

The success of KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy and West Denver Preparatory Charter School is spurring a charter renaissance. At least a dozen charter schools are being planned for the city over the next decade based on high-performing models.

The vast majority of parents know and care about their children’s educational needs and want the best for them. For these parents in Denver, the new charter schools can’t come soon enough.

Yet, interestingly, the article also notes: “Critics of charters argue schools are successful because they cater to parents who are already engaged.” Have these critics talked to the Denver parents who took the time to show up to the board meeting and demand more such quality schools? Shouldn’t the critics be pleased to see charter school success helping more parents to become engaged?

While continuing to press for new educational options, parents in Denver and across Colorado can look for the best options out there at School Choice for Kids.

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