Education politics

Wishing for more strange bedfellows in educational choice

Editor’s Note: This is the tenth and final of a series of posts where various members of the education choice world share an #edchoice wish. For yesterday’s post, CLICK HERE. My wish this holiday season is that this nation re-embrace the concept of “politics makes strange bedfellows,” which used to be a well-known adage before the culture forgot how to create a Venn diagram of overlapping goals and interests. Today, the idea of political opposites sharing a metaphorical Serta is viewed as a betrayal by their respective camps, an infidelity to identity. Nevertheless, few issues are as ripe for bipartisan cooperation as expanding parental choice...

Greg Dolan: Wishing a new look for education choice advocates

By Greg Dolan This Christmas, I am giving thanks for the recent election of so many supporters of the parental right to educational choice for their children. And if I had one wish to improve something for our movement, it would be for private school leaders to be more involved in policymaking and legislative advocacy for that right. Public school superintendents, teachers (or teacher union officials), and school board members are the leaders in public debates over district school spending and regulations. In the debates over educational choice, however, think tank staff, professional lobbying groups, and tax-credit-funded scholarship organizations are usually...
school choice

Doug Tuthill: Wishes for a better future

  Here are some education choice stocking stuffers that would please me this holiday season. Over the years, we have tried and failed to systematize educating the whole child. Our latest attempt includes focusing on social and emotional learning (SEL). While everyone seems to agree that integrating SEL into public education is essential, we’re making little progress in how to assess SEL skills. We need developmentally appropriate, reliable and valid measures of SEL skills. These assessments should generate formative data that are continuously available to educators, parents, and students. The accountability systems in public education need to improve. We need less regulatory...
florida democratic party

Wishing that fellow progressives stop fighting education choice

For my education wish this holiday season, I would like to participate in a storied tradition older than the Bolsheviks themselves – progressives going after their own. I am on my hands and knees begging fellow self-styled progressives to stop denying educational autonomy to working class and minority families - quite literally the base of our movement. The 2018 Florida gubernatorial election was a once-in-a-generation moment. Andrew Gillum emerged from the splintered Democratic primary without the backing of the leadership of teacher unions, the groups who routinely pump the false narrative into education discourse that (and I'm paraphrasing here, but only...

Montana court decision on educational choice invites U.S. Supreme Court overrule

By Andrew Wimer Last week, the Montana Supreme Court struck down the tax credit scholarship program created by that state’s legislature in 2015. The decision ignored recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent and was out of line with every other state court decision involving tax credit scholarship programs. The Montana program provides a modest tax credit (up to $150 annually) to individuals and businesses that donate to private scholarship organizations. There are 18 such programs nationwide, or there were until last week. The Montana Supreme Court struck down the program because it allowed children to attend both religious and non-religious schools. The...

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship enrollment drops

Enrollment in the nation’s largest scholarship program for economically disadvantaged K-12 students dropped this fall for the first time in 14 years. The decline was caused by a slowdown in corporate contributions and has led to an extraordinary gap between scholarship supply and demand. “We’re working hard to raise more scholarship funds, but we’re bumping up against a ceiling,” said Doug Tuthill, president of Step Up For Students, one of two state-approved scholarship funding organizations. “It’s devastating to see how many qualified students are being turned away.” The Department of Education reported that, as of September, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship...
Richard Corcoran

Corcoran gets nod for Education Commissioner

By Lloyd Dunkelberger / News Service of Florida TALLAHASSEE --- The Florida Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved the appointment of former House Speaker Richard Corcoran as the next state education commissioner. Corcoran, a Land O’Lakes attorney who served as a Republican House speaker from 2016 until last month, will succeed Pam Stewart, a veteran educator who has led the Department of Education since 2013. Stewart will step down on Jan. 8. The appointment of Corcoran, who has scant education experience but a lengthy political resume, was all but assured when Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis announced his support for the former lawmaker....
school safety

Parkland Commission recommends sheriffs train school staff by law

The Marjory Stoneman High School Public Safety Commission wants lawmakers to require Florida’s sheriffs to train public school staffers to carry a gun on campus. The commission voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the change to a guardian program that was named after the Stoneman Douglas coach, Aaron Feis, who died protecting students. The program provides law enforcement training to public school staffers, excluding teachers, who want to carry a gun on campus, but current law does not require sheriff’s offices to participate. So far, only 25 of 67 school districts are participating in the program, according to the Florida Department...