Archive for the 'Private Schools' Category

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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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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25th 2014
Choice Media: Experts Set President Straight on School Voucher Research Claims

Posted under Education Politics & Federal Government & Private Schools & Research & School Choice

I know it’s kind of a cute novelty to have a little kid talk to the leader of the free world. It’s not surprising, though, that when I joined the Wall Street Journal‘s Jason Riley a few weeks ago in asking President Obama if he would set the record straight on how school choice has helped kids, I received no answer.

The President is a very busy and important person, and we’re just hanging out here in one of those little flyover states. No important elections are pending. Still, when the U.S. Chief Executive declares on national television that “every study that’s been done on school vouchers…says that it has very limited impact if any,” it merits a clear response. Choice Media TV interviewed three of the leading national experts on the topic: Continue Reading »

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13th 2014
McShane is Right: Choice Team Needs to Do More Than Cry about “Bad Schools”

Posted under Just For Fun & Parents & Private Schools & School Choice & Tax Credits & Urban Schools

This morning I’m going to be like that geeky kid at the front of the class, eagerly raising his hand and exclaiming, “Ooh, ooh, I know! Call on me!” The question the imaginary teacher is asking: “What one education policy article do you need to read this week?”

If I sit here and wait until you call on me, the post will never get written. So allow me to blurt out my recommendation: “We need to stop obsessing about ‘bad’ schools, by Michael McShane!” If the teacher hasn’t read it yet, do I get even more brownie points?

The article starts with an honest criticism: Continue Reading »

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29th 2014
Students, Families Need Less Mandate, More Education Freedom from Feds

Posted under Federal Government & Grades and Standards & Parents & Private Schools & School Choice

If you think the federal government has a benign effect on Colorado education, then you’re just not paying attention. Look at all the fuel it’s thrown onto the fire of the Common Core debate — here in Colorado and elsewhere.

The U.S. Department of Education’s work of linking Common Core to the federal Race to the Top grant program raised a lot of red flags. But according to a new Education Week story, a number of school districts now are rejecting the funds for other reasons: Continue Reading »

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16th 2014
I’ll Stick My Toe into the Fordham-Cato School Choice Argument… for Five Minutes

Posted under Grades and Standards & Just For Fun & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Accountability & School Choice & Tax Credits

There’s nothing quite like taking a step into no man’s land, wandering into an argument between friends. A lot of us are on the school choice bandwagon together, but that certainly doesn’t mean everyone has the same views of what a program should look like. The Fordham Institute this week unveiled its “public accountability and private-school choice” toolkit. It called for administering state tests to all voucher / scholarship recipients, and reporting school-by-school test results if at least 10 kids participated.

It took very little time for the argument to begin: Continue Reading »

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9th 2014
Shouldn’t Dougco Score Higher on Brookings’ Choice and Competition Index?

Posted under Denver & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Board & School Choice & Suburban Schools

A story in yesterday’s Chalkbeat Colorado brought my attention to a newly released Brookings Institution study called the 2013 Education Choice and Competition Index. Well, that certainly got my attention.

Rather than rate states, Brookings developed a rubric to grade 100 of the nation’s largest districts on “thirteen categories of policy and practice” related to school choice. While Chalkbeat highlighted Denver Public Schools’ impressive fifth-place finish on the survey, you’d also think that Colorado’s own Douglas County — a forward-thinking, cutting-edge bastion of parental choice — would also be near the top, right? Continue Reading »


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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13th 2013
Survey of Tax Credit Scholarship Parents Gives Insights into School Choices

Posted under Grades and Standards & Independence Institute & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Choice & Tax Credits

My eyes gleamed when I saw this new Friedman Foundation report, More Than Scores: An Analysis of Why and How Parents Choose Private Schools. Why? Not only because it used a survey of 754 parents in the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, but also because it asked really helpful questions to understand why parents make the choices they do.

GOAL is a scholarship tax credit program, adopted by Georgia in 2008. Its features aren’t too much different than the ones my Education Policy Center friends recommend in A Scholarship Tax Credit Program for Colorado. You know, the type of program that could help thousands of Colorado Kids Win.

Such a program would encourage more donations to nonprofit scholarship organizations that provide K-12 private tuition assistance to students from low- and middle-income families. One idea you see in some choice programs is that private schools should be required to share certain information with parents. But the Friedman report by Benjamin Scafidi and Jim Kelly brings out an important survey finding: Continue Reading »

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21st 2013
Even This Post Might Be Too Much Attention on Common Core Debate

Posted under Foreign Countries & Grades and Standards & Private Schools & Research & School Accountability & School Choice & Teachers

The reason I rarely write about Common Core is the same reason why I’m writing about it today. Huh, you say? America’s fourth most influential Edu-Scholar Eric Hanushek makes a persuasive case in U.S. News:

Policymakers and reform advocates alike have rallied around introducing a set of national content standards, suggesting that this will jump-start the stagnating achievement of U.S. students. As history clearly indicates, simply calling for students to know more is not the same as ensuring they will learn more.

Bottom line (read the whole article): Common Core standards are not going to move the needle on the important content and skills U.S. students learn. For every Massachusetts that performs fairly well with high standards, there’s a California that has high standards but struggles tremendously in its educational results. Continue Reading »


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