fbpx

Education politics

Urban Institute study finds long-term benefits for students in private school choice programs

The Urban Institute has released a study of long-term outcomes associated with private choice program participation in Florida, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., tracking college attendance and college completion rates for choice participants for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and the Washington, D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program. Digging deeper: The results show clear advantages for choice students in Florida. Fifty-seven percent of Florida Tax Credit Scholarship students who started the program between third and seventh grades enrolled in college compared with 51 percent of matched non-Florida Tax Credit Scholarship students. Additionally, Florida Tax Credit Scholarship students...

Families, advocates rally for education choice at BOE meeting

Advocates for school choice and protesters who want more money spent on public schools assembled at the Florida Board of Education meeting Wednesday at Polk State College in Lakeland. More than a dozen parents and students representing Florida Voices for Choices gathered outside the entrance to the college’s technology building wearing bright orange T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Parent Power” and holding signs that read “Empower More Parents With Choice” and “Choice Helps Public Schools.” They countered a protest organized by groups that argue the state is “starving public schools" of money and have demanded a “moratorium on vouchers and...

Students need more charter schools – and more than charter schools

The Hamilton Project, launched in 2006 as an economic policy initiative of the Brookings Institution, calculated the percentage of K-12 students by state with one or more charter schools operating in their zip code during the 2014-15 school year. The top 10 states: Making sense of the numbers: The Brookings access calculation is a useful but imperfect measure of choice. A charter school operating within a child’s zip code but with a long wait list is not equivalent to one with available seats, for instance. With the nation’s largest statewide charter sector, many Arizona zip codes will have multiple charter...

Court showdown over religious freedom looms

After nearly two decades of debate, the U.S. Supreme Court will finally get a chance to determine how state courts may interpret “Blaine Amendments.” The court in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) previously had ruled state school voucher programs do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But whether state constitution “Blaine Amendments” could be used to deny voucher programs remained unresolved. “Blaine Amendments” are 19th century vestiges of America’s anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant past. Today, 37 states have amendments to their constitutions preventing religious institutions from indirectly, or in some places like Florida, directly receiving state...

PodcastED: Peace, love and understanding with Sherman Dorn, Part 1

Welcome to the first of a two-part conversation between redefinED executive editor Matthew Ladner and education historian Sherman Dorn. The two frequently have crossed swords on Florida K-12 education policy. Dorn, professor and director in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, has taught more than 2,500 students, led academic units at two large public research universities including the University of South Florida, and has been an outspoken critic of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s education reforms. By his own admission, he has never been bored. Ladner has served as senior advisor...

Rhode Island: a sickening reminder of why we need to modernize K-12 policy

Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education on Wednesday released a 93-page report of the Providence, Rhode Island, Public School District that provides a useful cautionary tale on how not to structure a K-12 system, reminding us that big spending and strong unions fail to produce learning for kids.  Among the report’s highlights: ·       The great majority of students are not learning on, or even near, grade level. ·       With rare exception, teachers are demoralized and feel unsupported. ·       Most parents feel shut out of their children’s education. ·       Principals find it very difficult to demonstrate leadership. ·       Many school buildings are deteriorating across the...
school choice

DeSantis budget cuts to impact Florida charter schools

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed just over $1.35 million in funding that would have gone to several charter schools around the state, including Academy at the Farm in Pasco County and Somerset Academy in Jefferson County. The cuts were part of the $131 million in appropriations the governor excised from the $90.9 billion budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins Monday. The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The veto disappointed Ray Polk, principal at Academy at the Farm. The K-8 school had requested $650,000 to fund infrastructure improvements and plans to expand to begin...

‘Public’ schools?

A recent article in the New York Times described, and in general, approved a particular system of education choice for parents of school children. Once again, however, the Times reports the frustration of lower-income families whose very able child doesn’t quite make it into one of the super-schools – called “public” – which are populated principally by the children of non-black parents. The predominant racial group actually admitted is Asian; these children are the champs on the decisive eligibility exam. So superior are they on the determining test that their enrollment in the super-schools has been limited by quota...