fbpx

Education savings accounts

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...
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...

School Wars: Return of the Nerdi

Hello again Florida. I’m glad to be “back” although still from a distance – a distance I hope that will continue to have a utility. I’ll get to that in a bit. I’ve taken on a role as Editor of redefinED and I have been asked to introduce myself, which is not something I’m accustomed to or comfortable in doing. Bear with me. Like a former Florida governor, I was raised by a proper Episcopalian family in southeast Texas in the late 20th Century. Also like this governor, I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin – he in 1978,...
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...

Gardiner Scholarships give students with autism a homeschool lifeline

Every day was a battle for Jared Wendlberger in school. The 7-year old, at the time, would come home in tears, after his backpack and lunch were stolen by his classmates. Jared, who has high-functioning autism, was placed in an emotional behavior disorder class in the second grade. Some of the students in the class were two years older and several of them were violent, his mother, Sandy Edwards, remembers. Jared was bullied regularly and it affected him on many levels. He was self-conscious about everything and became withdrawn. He was unable to finish his school work and was performing poorly. But the...

Education Next releases annual survey on universal voucher support

Public support for universal school vouchers has increased 9 percentage points to 54 percent in the last year, according to the 2018 Education Next annual survey of American public opinion on education. Meanwhile, opposition has fallen by 6 percentage points to 31 percent. However, Martin West, one of the survey authors, cautioned against interpreting the increased support as a long-term trend since support has fluctuated over the years. “What stands out to me is a variety of proposals for expanding parental choice in education that draw more support than opposition from the American public,” said West, professor of education at...