The Bottom Line

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Photo of boy video calling with a woman
Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels
Photo credit: Julia M Cameron

Do What’s Best for Children

Liv Finne, Director of the Center for Education at the Washington Policy Center, recently explained how State Superintendent Reykdal is abandoning families who enrolled in online schooling. She notes that according to the spokesperson of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, districts that students previously attended will continue to receive funding even if a student transfers to an online school. Finne notes that Washington State has an “existing, well-established system of free, public, state-approved and fully accredited, online schools.” The $8,500 in state funding should follow the student.  But this will not happen due to the state policy of establishing district funding levels based on student populations in February. Reykdal is constantly talking about making decisions based on what Read More ›

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Schoolboy stands in front of the school door
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Children Need Education—Re-Open Now

Debra J. Saunders is right to say, “there’s an antidote to this problem. Schools.” The specific problem she is referring to in the Public school closures may be a big Mistake is that caused by school closures. Namely, some children lack supervision and others are simply not participating in online alternatives.  Just last month the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that 21 percent of students enrolled in Clark County schools had no contact with the district after schools were shutdown.  We cannot expect students to come back with the knowledge required to be successfully in today’s world. Even before the coronavirus mayhem arrived at our front door, the U.S. ranked 27th of all developed nations in overall education proficiency of our Read More ›

Tacks On Calendar

Consider Year Round School

The Coronavirus has upended nearly every aspect of our lives—forcing thousands of businesses to close (many permanently), shuttered most schools until next fall, and skyrocketed unemployment. Add to this the social and emotional cost. I can only wonder how the children and families who were already experiencing hard times are now handling this. While this crisis presents a near-term national challenge unlike any other, we need to also think about the future beyond the virus. This leads to an educational concept we should consider: year-round school. While current educational schedules may meet the needs of some, it’s clear that some children need to more hours per day and more days per year in class in order to achieve even today’s Read More ›

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Drawing tools lying over blueprint paper
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Preparing to Reopen Schools

The American Enterprise Institute just released its Blueprint for Back to School report, recommending that state and federal leaders be prepared for another atypical school year by offering regulatory flexibility regarding seat time, graduation requirements, and procurement rules to permit schools to remain operational in unprecedented circumstances. Read More ›
Sad young Asian boy holding red ban signage
Portait of standing pouting young Asian boy holding red ban signage in yellow isolated studio background with copy space
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Elitists Want to Ban Homeschooling

Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, is sponsoring an upcoming invitation-only summit that features a lineup of outspoken homeschool critics. The topics of discussion? Read More ›
Diamanten im Brillantschliff vor schwarzem Hintergrund mit Reflextionen
Diamanten im Brillantschliff vor schwarzem Hintergrund mit Reflextionen
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Gem Prep Charter Schools Shine in Idaho

Amidst the educational difficulties the coronavirus has spurred, one Idaho charter network has thrived. Gem Prep, a K-12 free public charter school with four on-campus locations and an online school in Idaho, is using the opportunity to adapt and fine-tune their educational model.  Gem Prep schools have only one high school at this point—the online school. The physical schools are K–8. However, Gem is planning to add a new grade each year moving forward to make all of them K–12. With the arrival of Coronavirus, Gem was prepared to shift to full-time online.  Gem’s approach is to provide educators the specific training they need to teach effectively online. Laurie Wolfe, the network’s Chief Academic Officer, comments that “we [have] trained Read More ›

Hand holding gold medal on sky background
Hand holding gold medal on sky background, The winner and successful concept

Impact Public Schools are the Gold Standard

Thanks to Jim and Fawn Spady, the creators of the Washington Charter School Resource Center (WCSRC), for highlighting the novel concept of Washington’s Impact Public Schools (IPS). The Spadys are perhaps best known for their leadership of the Seattle area’s beloved Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants. But they are also long-time, stalwart advocates of education reform. IPS operates a charter public school in Tukwilla and will open another one this fall in South King County. The school serves 280 students in grades kindergarten through second grade, comprised of 83% students of color, 67% low income, and 32% English learners. IPS effectively pivoted to distance learning in early March and are now sharing their technology and lessons learned with everyone interested — whether Read More ›

Stressed little boy in suit throwing papers in air
Bureaucracy, exhausting paperwork. Stressed little boy in suit throwing papers in air, sitting at office, copy space
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Seattle Public Schools Bureaucracy Lets Students Down

Getting computers into the hands of students has become imperative in this time of Coronavirus school closures. Yet according to The Seattle Times, SPS delivered only 1,000 laptops to their nearly 52,000 students. By comparison, just to the south, Highline Public Schools gave out 12,000 to their 20,000 students. SPS officials mentioned that they don’t know which families are without internet or laptops. This is unacceptable. Even Los Angeles, the second largest school district in the United States, is monitoring this. Dahlia Bazzaz of The Seattle Times, writes, “In a 2019 survey of 42 districts in Washington state, many of them large, Seattle was one of six that reported that it didn’t give laptops to students of any grade level.” In one Read More ›

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Map maps american book
Photo by John-Mark Smith

Reopen Schools State by State

What’s good for one state may not be good for the next. Authority over schools rests with governors.  They should decide when schools open in their states.   For example, Alaska, having the least amount of coronavirus cases is not comparable to the hot bed of New York, even though both Alaska and New York have shut down schools for the rest of the year. On Tuesday, President Trump publicized an “Opening the Country” council, which will provide counsel regarding social distancing efforts moving forward. Participants include hundreds of leaders from business, technology, health care, agriculture, and sports.  Yet no one from education in on the council. This is a mistake.  An educational leader from each state should be included Read More ›