Archive for the 'Courts' Category

April
17th 2014
Cheering for New Hampshire Kids to Win Their Day in (the Supreme) Court

Posted under Courts & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & Parents & School Choice & State Legislature & Tax Credits

Welcome aboard, Little Eddie’s Virtual Airlines. Yesterday we made a landing in Kansas while skillfully avoiding the munchkins. Today the blog wheels touch down in the Northeast, where oral arguments in an important state supreme court case very recently took place.

Back in 2012 New Hampshire became one of the 13 (soon to be 14) states that have adopted scholarship tax credits. These programs encourage more private donations that give students access to educational choices that better serve their needs. After taking an attempt to roll back the program and nipping it in the bud, school choice in the Granite State took its defense to the courts.

Last June, some “particularly odd” judicial logic shot down part of the scholarship tax credit program. Not just odd, but scary. Namely, that any money you own potentially belongs to the government. Therefore, Judge John Lewis said money that might go to the government cannot help pay for private tuition at a religious school — well, because, I guess…. Continue Reading »

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March
21st 2014
Time to Go Wild: Legal Win for Kids Helped by Arizona’s Cutting-Edge ESAs

Posted under Courts & Governor & Innovation and Reform & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Choice & State Legislature

Most Fridays I just want to get up, stick my tongue out, yell, and run around like a wild man. Hey, I’m a kid, it’s okay to be crazy. Sometimes it’s a frustrated, “I can’t take it any more”-kind of crazy. Today, it’s a feeling of relief turned into exhilaration. The Federation for Children delivers the great news that the Arizona Supreme Court upholds the state’s cutting-edge Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) as constitutional: Continue Reading »

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March
17th 2014
Colorado Supreme Court Will Hear Dougco School Choice Case, More Waiting Ahead

Posted under Courts & Education Politics & Independence Institute & Parents & Private Schools & School Board & School Choice & Suburban Schools

One of the fun parts of being an edublogging prodigy is the chance to be spontaneous. Sometimes my plans to write about a certain topic take a back seat when some fresh but long-awaited breaking news. The kind of breaking news that allows me to go back into the archives and stroll down memory lane, while also thinking ahead about what comes next.

This morning the Colorado Supreme Court released its list of case announcements, and what to my young and eager eyes should appear on page 5 but the case of Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District. It said “Petition for Writ of Certiorari GRANTED.”

My smart adult friends told me that means the Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear about the famous and groundbreaking Choice Scholarship Program, and settle the legal dispute. For those who need a quick refresher about the currently enjoined (inactive) local private school choice initiative: Continue Reading »

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March
7th 2014
Two Michigan Teachers Set Free of Union; Thousands More in Limbo

Posted under Courts & Education Politics & State Legislature & Teachers

Jillian Kay Melchior at National Review adds some great insights to this story, as well.

Freedom for two teachers is better than freedom for none. It’s a good start. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports that “kindergarten teacher Miriam Chanski and hall of fame wrestling coach William ‘Ray’ Arthur” were finally able to get their wish and exit the union.”

After an extended legal showdown, the Michigan Education Association dropped its resistance, but not before doing some damage: Continue Reading »

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February
20th 2014
Give Me Colorado, Not California: A Tale of Two Teacher Tenure Court Cases

Posted under Courts & Denver & Independence Institute & State Legislature & Teachers

“It was the best of education lawsuits, it was the worst of education lawsuits….” Well, not exactly. Some well-publicized legal action in California is trying to achieve a (much better) policy goal that runs counter to a Colorado lawsuit I’ve talked about before. Still, there is the fundamental problem of trying to change education policy through the courts.

Prof. Joshua Dunn, a Colorado-based expert on education court cases, makes the point much more eloquently. He talked with one of my Education Policy Center friends on a radio interview for the Amy Oliver Show. The good news is how he handicaps the Colorado Education Association’s chances of success using the courts to overturn a law that protects students from poor performing teachers.

Unfolding on the West Coast is a different tale, the case of Vergara v. California, filed several years ago against the state teachers union. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur, through his group Students Matter, is seeking to change tenure and dismissal policies that keep ineffective instructors in classrooms and on payrolls. Continue Reading »

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January
30th 2014
Lawsuit to Protect Tenure Over Students Makes CEA Not Only Wrong But Lonely

Posted under Courts & Denver & Governor & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & State Board of Education & State Legislature & Teachers & Urban Schools

Being a little kid and all, I can be sensitive to what my peers think sometimes. Have you ever stuck your neck out there, the only one in the crowd choosing something different from everyone else? If it’s a flavor of ice cream, that’s no big deal. But if it’s a True or False question, and you are the only one who chooses the wrong answer, that can be a little bit harder to take. If it’s big people making the wrong choice on something that doesn’t help students, then it’s even worse.

In case you missed it, the big news around here yesterday was the teachers union’s lawsuit and legislative attack on Senate Bill 191. The bottom line is they don’t like part of the law that gives principals the authority to keep ineffective teachers out of classrooms (known as “mutual consent”).

My Education Policy Center friends quickly responded: Continue Reading »

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January
2nd 2014
Colorado K-12 Policy and Trends: Eddie’s Eight Emerging Questions for 2014

Posted under Courts & Edublogging & Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun & learning & Online Schools & Parents & Preschool & Principals & School Board & School Choice & School Finance & State Legislature & Tax Credits & Teachers & Urban Schools

Unbelievably, another new year is already underway, and I’m left to ponder what kind of hopes it holds out for Colorado kids and families seeking the best educational opportunities and outcomes possible. While I recover from the blissful batch of toys, games, and goodies, it seems like a perfect time to ponder what might emerge out of the chaos in 2014: Continue Reading »

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November
22nd 2013
Thankful for the (Mostly) Good News for Louisiana School Choice Families

Posted under Courts & Federal Government & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Choice

‘Tis the season for expressions of gratitude. So I’m glad to say this week that the U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its hollow and shameful attack against a Louisiana school choice program and the parents who benefit from it. So if you see little Eddie smiling and muttering a few extra Thank-You’s than normal, now you know why.

Back in August Eric Holder’s Justice Department launched a legal assault against the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP), claiming that it was undermining desegregation orders. Last week Commentary magazine writer Seth Mandel explained how the Feds’ phony case had completely broken down under the weight of new evidence. Continue Reading »

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October
2nd 2013
Indiana and Arizona Boost My Spirits with Good School Choice News

Posted under Courts & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Choice & Tax Credits

These are the days when little Eddie is too busy soaking in the last rays of warm weather before the fall chill. So you have to forgive me if a post like today’s is a quick hit. I just wanted to make sure you saw two recent pieces of good news from two states that Colorado ought to idolize when it comes to school choice.

First, it looks like the Hoosier State has the fastest-growing voucher program in the country, as student and parental demand for better educational options soars:

The number of Indiana students applying to receive vouchers allowing them to use state money to pay for private schools has more than doubled for a second consecutive year.

The Indiana Department of Education reports it received 20,047 applications for vouchers for the 2013-14 school year….

Continue Reading »

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September
13th 2013
I Want to Put a Great Big Asterisk on a Compelling Jay Greene Argument

Posted under Courts & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & Parents & Private Schools & School Board & School Choice & Suburban Schools

This week one of my favorite researchers and thought leaders in the world of K-12 education, Dr. Jay Greene, produced an insightful blog essay titled “Fix Schools by Not Fixing Schools.” His argument isn’t as odd as the title makes it sound:

I understand that urging reformers to focus on fixing traditional schools by not fixing traditional schools sounds like abandoning the millions of children who remain in those schools, but that is simply not the case. The best hope for improving the situation of those children in traditional public schools is by expanding access to alternatives and enriching out-of-school experiences. If we succeed in expanding access to quality alternatives, more and more of those children will benefit by being able to take advantage of those alternatives. In addition, traditional public schools may be more willing and able to adopt reforms that are appropriate for their circumstances as they learn about what alternative providers are doing and feel some pressure to take steps to attract and retain their students.

Greene offers several reasons why he believes imposing reforms on traditional public schools is not a productive approach. I certainly get what he is saying. And some of his points I even accept. Continue Reading »

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