fbpx

Customization

Florida’s gains give hope for the future – but hope is not a plan

  This is the state of things. Now, make your plans.                                                             -Sophocles Antigone Florida is getting it from both barrels of the age demographic gun – a rise in the elderly, super-elderly and youth all at the same time. On average, 10,000 Baby Boomers per day will reach the age of 65 until 2030, whereupon all surviving Boomers have reached retirement age. For the Florida economy, retirees are a way of life and benefit the state’s economy as they come in and buy condos. But the pain to the state budget hits later, when they near the end and draw...
Gardiner scholarship

Gardiner Scholarship ‘a Godsend’ for Lake Mary family

Ashton Fernandez couldn’t contain his excitement. The 7-year-old was ready to decorate his yard with inflatable Christmas decorations with twin sister Audrey, and he bounded around his family’s living room with obvious glee. Diagnosed at an early age with autism spectrum disorder, Ashton communicates almost completely non-verbally. He smiled wide and tugged at Audrey’s arm, imploring her to play until it was time to decorate their sprawling Lake Mary lawn. As he did so, Arlo, a laid-back golden retriever, sauntered through the room, casually taking in the pre-holiday cheer. “Arlo is Ashton’s therapy dog,” said Jennifer Fernandez, Ashton and Audrey’s mother. She is...
dual enrollment

Private schools seek clarity on dual enrollment costs

A new Florida law intended to eliminate multiple barriers to private and home school students who want to take dual enrollment classes has instead left potentially hundreds of students shut out of taking such courses because their private schools are asked to foot the bill. Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, who wrote the legislation on dual enrollment, wants to mitigate the issue in the upcoming legislative session. Baxley said he will advocate for a separate pooled fund or cost sharing mechanism that could potentially be used to cover the costs of dual enrollment, removing the financial burden for colleges and private schools. At...
school choice

Doug Tuthill: ESAs bring healthier market to education

Markets are like gravity. They are everywhere. Markets are where supply meets demand. They are how we access the things we need and want, including food, clothing, housing, friends, media, health care, romantic partners, entertainment, and education. Even those needing kidney transplants are dependent on well-designed markets. Public education also is a market -- unfortunately, a poorly functioning one, especially for low-income and minority children, and most teachers. I’ve been working to improve public education for 42 years. My primary lesson learned is that a well-designed market is a necessary condition before improvements can be systemic, sustainable, effective, and efficient. Effective and efficient...
Home education

Home Education Enrichment Program gives students choice and community

The idea that pain can lead to a positive change in one’s life left students seeking more answers in Jason Crawford’s class. One student sat laughing in disbelief. “How could this be?” she asked with amazement. “Because pain leads to awareness and awareness plus choice equals action,” said Crawford, donning glasses and sporting a beard, as he wrote the formula on the wipe board. “Action turns into habits.” This was not your typical classroom. Crawford is not your typical teacher. He is a marketing consultant who has a master’s in counseling. Pathfinding is just one of more than 50 courses students can take...
reading scholarship

Students struggling with reading find renewed hope with scholarship

Kenneth Balazy, 10, learns differently than your average student. He has ADHD and executive functioning disorder. As a result, he easily becomes distracted and finds it hard to focus in class. A 9-year-old Sanford resident, whose mother wanted her name withheld, struggles with a learning disability, where it takes a little longer for her to grasp the meaning of a lesson. And English is not Camila Cabazos’ first language, making key concepts in learning hard to comprehend for the 10-year-old Sarasota native. All three students share a common challenge: they struggle in reading comprehension and need more one-on-one help to overcome obstacles...

Choice for choice’s sake

Education choice programs are widely viewed as a means for students to leave traditional public schools and seek better opportunities to learn elsewhere. Researchers therefore have attempted to compare how students perform academically at schools of choice versus their traditional counterparts – the idea being that the value of choice depends on its ability to produce superior educational outcomes. But that approach ignores the virtue of choice. The power to choose isn’t just another instrument of policy. Exercising choice is a fundamental human desire that increasingly is accommodated in multiple spheres of life. Why should education be excluded? To be sure, there...

“Public education” is anything but public

In much of American society, children attend a school that has been chosen by their parents. Mom and Dad have picked out a home in the attendance area of a certain school that is owned and run by the government. At the very least, when they moved they knew its reputation. Whether or not the school was a major consideration, they accepted it as a substantial part of the culture that would count greatly in shaping their child’s worldview. That school of theirs will be called “public.” My Webster’s defines this word in various ways, but most prominent among these...