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Florida’s Principal Autonomy initiative showing signs of success

Editor’s note: Throughout August, redefinED is revisiting stories that shine a light on extraordinary educators. Today’s post, first published in August 2018, features two strong school leaders, one in Palm Beach and one in St. Petersburg, who saw critical needs at their schools and took the necessary steps to address them.   When Robin Brown took the helm as principal...

Bellwether Education report: toward equitable access and affordability

Bellwether Education researchers recently released an interesting slide deck that shows how private schools and microschools seek to serve middle- and low-income students. Slide 10 is especially interesting, illustrating trends in American school enrollment – district, private and charter – since 1900. A deeper dive If you are attempting to read this on your phone, charter schools are indicated by the...

Why one Democratic state lawmaker voted for educational choice

At a Town Hall in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, State Rep. Wengay Newton kept it real. More than a dozen advocates and constituents who live in or attend schools in his St. Petersburg district spent their evening hearing from one of the six Democrats who voted this spring in support of SB 7070, a bill creating the Family Empowerment...

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...