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Voucher Left

revisitED: California Dreamin’

Editor’s note: This month, redefinED is revisiting the best examples of our Voucher Left series, which focuses on the center-left roots of school choice. Today’s post from December 2015 describes efforts to put school vouchers on the 1980 California ballot. How the left almost pulled off a school choice revolution This is the all-in-one version of our recent serial about efforts to put school vouchers on the 1980 California ballot. It's part of our ongoing series on the center-left roots of choice. The woman stopped the professor as they were leaving church near campus. It was the fall of 1978 in northern California, and Jack Coons...
school choice

revisitED: Lessons from a school choice trailblazer

Civil rights activist Mary McLeod was a school choice pioneer, opening a private, faith-based school for African-American girls in Daytona in 1904. The state of Florida may honor her with a statue in the U.S. Capitol. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.) Editor’s note: This month, redefinED is revisiting the best examples of our Voucher Left series, which focuses on the center-left roots of school choice. Today’s post from June 2016 tells the story of civil rights activist and school choice pioneer Mary McLeod Bethune, who started a private, faith-based school for African-American girls in 1904 that became known as Bethune-Cookman University. How...

revisitED: Rosa Parks, school choice supporter

Editor’s note: This month, redefinED is revisiting the best examples of our Voucher Left series, which focuses on the center-left roots of school choice. Today’s post from March 2016 illustrates how civil rights activist Rosa Parks believed in the value of giving parents more educational choice. If the full, rich history of school choice wasn’t so hidden, perhaps it’d be less shocking to stumble on a link (hat tip: Chris Stewart) between charter schools and “the first lady of civil rights.” But since so much of that history remains off radar, I have the honor of amplifying the blip. Rosa Parks...

revisitED: Sex, drugs and school choice

Editor’s note: This month, redefinED is revisiting the best examples of our Voucher Left series, which focuses on the center-left roots of school choice. Today’s post explores one of the world’s most robust systems of government-funded private school choice in a country known as a progressive’s paradise: the Netherlands. By common definitions, the Netherlands is a very liberal place. Prostitution is legal. Euthanasia is legal. Gay marriage is legal; in fact, the Netherlands was the first country to make it so. Marijuana is not legal, technically, but from what I hear a lot of folks are red-eyed in Dutch coffee...

Accountability’s rocky legal road, Part 2

Editor’s note: March 2 marked the 20th anniversary of the legislative session in which Florida Gov. Jeb Bush launched a number of K-12 reforms that transformed education throughout the state. With the start of the 2019 legislative session earlier this month, redefinED embarked upon a series of articles that examine aspects of Bush’s K-12 education revolution and how it continues to reverberate. Today’s piece is the second of two retrospectives that chronicle the plan’s legislative roller coaster ride. You can read Part I here.  The critics strike back With vouchers deemed constitutional by the First District Court of Appeal and with an...

revisitED: Peace, love & accountability

Editor’s note: redefinED continues its journey through the archives, reviving on Saturdays interesting posts on various topics that deserve a second look. In March, we’ll feature pieces on school accountability, beginning with this one that shines a light on War on Poverty liberals who supported private school vouchers in the 1960s and ‘70s.    This is the latest post in our ongoing series on the center-left roots of school choice. The Great Society liberals who pushed for private school vouchers in the 1960s and ‘70s were all about social justice. They saw a tool for empowering low-income parents. For promoting equity....
school choice

revisitED: Racism, irony, and school choice

Editor’s note: This February marks the 43rd anniversary of Black History Month. redefinED is taking the opportunity to revisit some pieces from our archives appropriate for this annual celebration. The article below originally appeared in redefinED in July 2016. This is the latest post in our series on the center-left roots of school choice. The school was all black. The textbooks, hand-me-down. The teachers paid less. Yes, the Milner-Rosenwald Academy in Mount Dora, Fla., was separate and unequal, said Ozell Ward, who attended 60 years ago. And yet, in his view, it was better. Teachers were invested, he said. Parents were engaged. The...
black history month

revisitED: Choice history, choice policy

Editor’s note: This February marks the 43rd anniversary of Black History Month. redefinED is taking this opportunity to revisit some pieces from our archives appropriate for this annual celebration. The article below originally appeared in redefinED in December 2015. Credit James Forman Jr. with the best account yet of the center-left roots of the school choice movement. Credit his stint as a public defender for being the spark. Forman, now a Yale law professor, said the district “alternative” schools serving his juvenile clients in Washington D.C. 20 years ago were giving them the least and worst when they needed the most...