fbpx

Voucher Left

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...

Meet Florida’s newest school choice Democrat

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – If you want to know why Florida state Rep. James Bush III supports educational choice, take a ride with him. Just a few blocks from his legislative office, District 109 – which Bush called “one of the largest and poorest and most violent and neglected districts in the state” – is more Mad Max than Miami, a hodge-podge of industrial zoning and bars-over-windows residential. On a recent Sunday, Bush bumped a rented Mustang down a moonscape of graded road, lined with teetering chain-link fence and littered with cast-offs: a flat-screen TV, a jet ski, a crushed camper...

Lessons from the Renaissance school

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – With a little help from their culinary instructor, the multi-ethnic group of first- and second-graders at BB International School chop, grate, dice, squeeze, season, stir and serve. They tong noodles into bubbling red sauce. They sprinkle in chili flakes. And along the way, they learn far more than how to rock an impressive bucatini with amatriciana. The instructor, Alexa Altamura, adds a dash of math (slice the onion into cubes), a drop of geography (the pink salt is from the Himalayas), a pinch of global trade (tomatoes are originally from Mexico). She folds in a smidgen of anatomy...

James Baldwin on education alternatives

This is the latest post in our series on the center-left roots of school choice. Rosa Parks wanted a charter school. Cesar Chavez wanted freedom schools. No president pushed federal funding for school choice more than Barack Obama. School choice critics shamelessly try to shackle choice to Trump, or Devos, or any other figure loathed on the left. But it’s a fact that plenty of folks on the left, from everyday people to social justice icons, have long appreciated alternatives to traditional public schools, particularly for low-income families and communities of color. Add James Baldwin to the list. Baldwin – writer, activist,...