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Commentary: Parental choice is an effective form of accountability

Editor’s note: The Gainesville Sun editorial board, in an opinion posted July 28, called for greater oversight for private schools that will receive about $130 million this year from the state budget for a new voucher program. The editorial alleges these private schools lack accountability to ensure academic quality, a highly-trained teacher force and policies that prevent discrimination against...

Education savings accounts: a vehicle for parental choice

Executive editor’s note: This is the first in a short series of articles documenting the origins of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program. AZESA was the first education savings account (ESA) program, and it seemed like a good idea to tell this story before any of us involved got hit by a passenger bus or suffered some other sort of...

Urban Institute study: charter school impact on school segregation

While charter school opponents claim that charter schools are increasing racial segregation, a new national study from the Urban Institute finds a modest overall charter impact on student segregation. Some background District schools rely upon attendance boundaries while American housing remain largely segregated by income and race. Thus, only a minority of schools have a demographic profile matching their metropolitan area....

Go & grind: School choice gives this principal a platform to inspire

Editor's note: Throughout August, redefinED is revisiting stories that shine a light on extraordinary educators. Today's post, first published in September 2018, features a veteran educator who shares her own life lessons to help the students at her school.   MIAMI – Little Havana is in a hurry. Long before dawn bathes the palms in soft light, thousands of workers stream...
McKay Protest picture

The fight for education equity continues as new school year begins

As students begin returning to classrooms, I can’t help but notice that some parents are willing to risk it all for their child’s education. Many are not satisfied with their current learning environment and have taken extreme measures for a chance to have an equal opportunity. Reports across the United States reveal that parents lie, cheat, and find loopholes to...

The Gilberts ride the whirlwind

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Florida’s hurricane season begins in June, but in the Gilbert household, the wind starts blowing in August. The family’s perfect storm of activity will commence next week with the first day of the new school year. Stephanie Gilbert will load her five children into the car at 7 a.m. for a 30-minute drive to take Melissa and...

PodcastED: How education choice serves special needs students

Educational choice supporters believe that the future of public education looks a lot like growing models and services available to students with unique abilities. For instance, the Gardiner Scholarship will serve approximately 14,000 students in Florida this upcoming school year. The scholarship is an educational savings account for families of children with certain diagnoses that allows parents to tailor educational...

An education choice advocate reflects on benefits of A+ plan

Editor’s note: redefinED continues to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the K-12 reforms launched by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, collectively known as the A+ accountability plan, with this post from Step Up For Students' executive director for advocacy and civic engagement. In her first-person piece, she recounts how she became aware of the legislation that transformed education throughout the...

K-12 education continues to evolve as new school year begins

Florida students are heading back to school for the 2019-20 academic year and into a school system that remains stable, but which has been evolving. This school district enrollment chart looks similar to the way it looked at the end of the 20th century, but with more students: Plenty of continuity here: The districts with large enrollments in 1999 still...