Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
"Indiana public schools will divvy up $4.2
million in May, thanks in part to the state's private school voucher
program," the Northwest Indiana Times reports.
Most private school students participating in the Choice Scholarship Program receive a voucher worth 90 percent of Indiana's per pupil funding for public school. State law requires the remaining 10 percent be paid to school corporations.
Among Northwest Indiana schools, Hammond will receive $60,297; Gary, $51,688; Crown Point, $27,025; Munster, $14,550; Portage Township, $32,078; Duneland, $21,701; and Valparaiso, $23,268.
State funds pay for nearly 4,000 students to attend private schools.
Our school-performance woes are not the union's fault, Andrew Coulson writes over at HuffPo. "It is the natural result of operating K-12 education as a fully state-funded monopoly."
[I]t is not an attack on government to observe that government is bad at running schools, anymore than it's an attack on shovels to note that they make lousy Web browsers. No single tool can do every job. Nor is it an attack on the ideals of public education to say that state monopolies are an ineffective way to pursue them. That's a confusion of ends and means. Public education is a not a particular pile of bricks or stack of regulations, it is a set of goals: universal access, preparation for participation in public life as well as success in private life, building harmony and understanding among communities.
If the true allegiance of reformist Democrats is to those ultimate ideals, then they should have no problem acknowledging that government monopolies are ill-suited to advancing them, and that teachers-union excesses are more a symptom than a cause of our monopoly-induced woes. Finding the best policies for advancing our educational ideals then becomes a practical, tractable problem. The participation of reformist Democrats in solving it will be a tremendous boon to the children they seek to help.
Great story by Carla Hinton today in The Oklahoman.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
She wouldn't give her some M&M's.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
There's a new Facebook page for parents, policymakers, and others interested in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program for Children with Disabilities.
"Louisiana is poised
to establish the nation's most expansive system of school choice by
adopting a package of vouchers and other tools that would give many
parents control over the use of tax dollars to educate their children," Stephanie Banchero reports today on page A3 of The Wall Street Journal.
"The initiative would effectively redefine vouchers, which have typically helped lower-income public-school students pay for private schools. Vouchers could now also be used by students to pay for state-approved apprenticeships at local businesses, as well as college courses and private online classes, while they are still in public schools."
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Hats off to Kim Archer for an interesting story in the Tulsa World ('Legal experts expect Supreme Court to eventually uphold Henry law'). But unlike TU law professor Gary Allison, I believe that if the law survives it will be because it is in fact constitutional, not because the Court is reading the political winds.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
In the latest issue of School Reform News, story on early childhood education. She quotes Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum:
The problem is not getting children into childcare but to give families the means to keep a parent at home, or encourage a system where money follows the child. Put power in the hands of parents to choose programs that make sense for them rather than a one-size-fits-all government program. ...
The fallacy is that early childhood programs lead to better education outcomes, but unfortunately there’s very little evidence that holds true. And a lot of families make sacrifices to keep kids at home. The value a stay-at-home mom is providing is seen as less when you can put a kid in a building nine-to-five. If other people get subsidized daycare, government is picking one lifestyle choice over another.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Are the Tulsa, Owasso, Stillwater, and Choctaw/Nicoma Park school districts cheating on tests? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says these districts "had enough suspect
tests that the odds of the results occurring by chance alone were worse
than one in 1,000."
In addition, the newspaper says Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Edmond, Muskogee, Mustang, Norman, Oklahoma City, Sand Springs, Western Heights, and Yukon "certainly deserve further examination."
Over at redefinED, Ron Matus writes:
[Rev. Manuel L. Sykes is] a Democrat. He’s president of the NAACP in St. Petersburg, Fla. He thinks public schools did a fine job with his kids.
Privatizing schools? Mention the idea to Sykes, who is pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church, and you’ll get a slow burn about elitism, resegregation and crony capitalism.
But Sykes, 55, also supports vouchers and tax credit scholarships. And for folks who think they see a contradiction, he offers a quip and a laugh: "Stereotyping is a function of a lazy mind."
Sykes isn’t a leader in the school choice movement, but like thousands of others he quietly defies the story line. In that respect, he is symbolic of the new face of public education. It’s not public or private. It’s not liberal or conservative. It’s pragmatic.
"You can’t plant roses in every environment," Sykes told redefinED. "You have to find the right environment for that flower. Or that orange tree. Or that apple tree. If we're wise enough to know that with trees, why don’t we have the same common sense with children?"
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Associated Press reports that "proponents of helping parents send their children to private schools won approval Wednesday in the South Carolina House.
The bill would allow parents to take a $4,000 tax deduction per child for tuition paid, $2,000 for homeschool expenses and $1,000 per child who attends a public school outside the district where he or she lives. It would allow people to claim tax credits for donating to newly created nonprofits giving scholarships to poor and disabled students.