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Education

American Center for Transforming Education

American Center for Transforming Education: Updates from Washington and Oklahoma

Discovery Institute recently launched its newest program, the American Center for Transforming Education (ACTE), to target one of the nation’s highest priority public policy objectives: improving the performance of the U.S. education system. ACTE blends a focus on increasing parental choice and empowerment with the complementary objectives of reforming certification for teachers and administrators and strengthening teacher preparation programs. ACTE’s work is rooted in the philosophy that the education of the child is a fundamental responsibility of the family. All families, regardless of socioeconomic status, should be able to access the school that they believe will best serve their children. A ZIP code should not be the determining factor in what education a child will be able to receive. In Read More ›


Education Reform Must Begin With the Legislature Says Former Seattle School Board President

News Release Discovery Institute Robert Crowther (206) 292-0401 x107 [email protected] Education Reform Must Begin With the Legislature Says Former Seattle School Board President This week, the Legislature begins its deliberations during this short session (60 days). The top priority will be “education” and the need to comply with the Supreme Court decisions on charter schools and funding. The charter school issue should be the easier of the two according to Don Nielsen, former Seattle School Board President and author of Every School: One Citizen’s Guide To Transforming Education. “Charter schools are simply deregulated public schools, and the legislature needs to pass legislation allowing public funds to be given to schools that are granted waivers from state regulations,” said Nielsen. “It Read More ›


Tom Alberg Says Schools Need ‘Radical’ Fixes

In a Seattle Times interview, Tom Alberg — co-founder of the Seattle venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group, who also serves on the Advisory Board of Discovery Institute’s new program on education reform — cites K-12 education reform as on of the most important issues of our time, and gives his recommendations on what is necessary to fix education locally in Seattle: Q: What are issues that need to be addressed? Alberg: I think the one place that a lot of tech people are really concerned about is education, K-12 education. I mean, we should have the best public schools (in the country) and we don’t. I think we need some radical steps and my two radical steps are: Transfer Read More ›




Former Seattle School Board President Calls Supreme Court Ruling on Charter Schools “Unconscionable”

SEATTLE, Sept. 9, 2015 Charter schools and school choice are on the edge of extinction nationwide thanks to Washington State’s Supreme Court’s ruling outlawing charter schools, according to Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Don Nielsen. The ruling was immediately deemed “as politically driven as it is overreaching and legally flawed” by The Wall Street Journal, and Nielsen, a former Seattle School Board president agrees. “Washington’s Supreme Court made a mockery of the law. Our state’s charter school law was filed with the attorney general’s office three years ago and was fully vetted both in terms of its legality and constitutionality,” said Nielsen. “Further, the attorney general’s office worded the initiative to ensure it was clear and unambiguous, then the voters approved Read More ›


Quality Education Reform Starts in the States

Don-NielsenBy Donald Nielsen
Originally published in The Hill

Conservatives and liberals alike may rejoice at the notion that 2015 brings with it a chance to revamp the controversial 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will be the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and has said that his top priority is a revision of NCLB.

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