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Will Corona Boost Online College Competition?

The global public health crisis hastened by an outbreak of COVID-19 threatens student flows to colleges and universities and other forms of personal collaboration. Just how stark the impact will be will be depends on many unknown variables–among them: how long the outbreak lasts, to what extent it can be contained, and to what degree local and international travel will be restricted. While there is an unfortunate potential for some students to lose out on college experiences, the unique reaction to the disease also raises an intriguing question:  Should families now consider alternatives to the in-person college experience?  Will many choose the cheaper option on an online school? Online learning is poised to be a big winner here.  It is Read More ›

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Circuit board futuristic server code processing. Orange, green, blue technology background with bokeh. 3d rendering
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Coronavirus Calls for Technology Surge in Education

With schools closing throughout the entire nation and families resorting to remote or home schooling, the need for technology as a tool in education is being keenly felt.   It is clear our schools were not ready for the virus. Many districts are sending children home without any education until late April at the earliest. If this is to continue and school is canceled for the rest of the year, children across the nation will miss out on months of education. This pause presents an opportunity to think about how we educate our youth. Specifically, we have not yet seen the technology breakthrough in education that has occurred almost everywhere else in our society. The time is ripe for that Read More ›

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Close-up of signing declaration of independence on two dollar banknote. United States, macro
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Our Way of Life is Worth Preserving

Tradition is under attack in America’s educational system. Dissolving the connections with our history will break society. Edmund Burke argues in Reflections on the Revolution in France that “Men… [are] becom[ing] little better than the flies of a summer,” each generation vanishing and giving nothing but the simple fact of their life on to the next. There are unfortunate, but not surprising, similarities between the French Revolution and the current battleground of education in the United States. Much like the French civilization in the 18th century, we have become deluded with a belief that the only way to change is to abolish what we have come to know. Burke’s commentary is equally fitting for our time as his, when he Read More ›

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Money being cut showing cutbacks or wasteful spending

Budget Cuts Will Lead to Educational Regression

I was not that shocked when I read the news that Washington State’s elected leaders in both the Senate and the House are attempting to cut funding to charter schools. It’s par for the course with many of our state leaders, who have an open hostility to these schools whose success is based on their ability to escape excessive state control. What is more surprising is that the Democrat-run House and Senate are willing to stir up a storm in poor communities. In most cases, charter schools are created in neighborhoods where the schools are failing or under-performing. In Washington, by 2020 we will have 14 active public charter schools that serve nearly 4,000 students. Liv Finne, Director of Center Read More ›

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Path way of Hope and Success The light is on the destination.
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Mississippi Misfortunes and Where to Rebuild

The Magnolia state has had its fair share of woes. Coming in near the bottom of the barrel in education standings, the highest poverty rate in the United States, the lowest labor participation rate (56% to be exact), and one of the lowest median incomes, coming in at $23,121. This is just to name a few. Yet there is hope. My visit to the capitol of Mississippi this past week leads me to believe that in education, we may be on the cusp of a new era of meaningful reform. For example, we have seen a recent uptick in fourth grade reading scores, where Mississippi improved its position from forty-ninth in 2013 to twenty-ninth in 2019 based on National Assessment Read More ›

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Government Schools Vs. Independent Schools

Commenting on Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Corey DeAngelis writes in the Washington Examiner, “Trump is absolutely right to call them government schools instead of public schools.” DeAngelis is correct. Here’s why. “Public” schools are not open to everyone because students are barred based on zip codes. The schools are directly responsible to and directed by the government, whether at the local level (a district school board) or at the state level (through the state board of education). The schools are funded by federal, state, and local taxpayers. This distinction is helpful because correctly characterizing these schools clarifies who should be held accountable. Other forms of schooling, such as charter schools, religious schools, private schools, and certain ESA Read More ›

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Group of paper plane in one direction and with one individual pointing in the different way. Business concept for new ideas creativity and innovative solution.
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Is Reform Achievable?

Dale Chu, senior visiting fellow of the Fordham Institute (an education reform think tank) writes, “the dour forecast [on big education reform ideas] is good reason for reformers to fight even harder in the 2020s and to search for a new path forward.” Given Chu’s conclusion, new transformative measures are required to propel our educational system to new heights. Simply put, what we are doing is not working. That is not to say that some pieces of reform haven’t been successful, such as the charter school movement and the accessibility of more choice in education. However, continuing down the path we are on will provide us another dreary decade. What America needs is one state to step up and lead Read More ›

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Woman walking off of a cliff with the eyes covered
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Progressivism Fails to Clear the Gap

A recent report, The Secret Shame, shows the deleterious effects of progressive policies on education outcomes of minorities. The report concludes that the top 12 progressive cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Detroit have larger educational achievement gaps between whites and minorities than the top 12 conservative cities, such as Fort Worth, Anaheim, Virginia Beach, and Oklahoma City. Specifically, “progressive cities, on average, have achievement gaps in math and reading that are 15 and 13 percentage points higher than in conservative cities.” To determine the progressive and conservative cities, the report relied on independent political scientists Chris Tausanovitch and Christopher Warshaw who “pooled data from seven large surveys of U.S. public opinion to rank the nation’s biggest Read More ›

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Do something different advice - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee
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We are Failing Our Children

In 1983, the famous report, “A Nation at Risk” concluded that our country was failing to effectively educate our children. The authors were so critical of our schools that the preamble of the report summarized their findings by saying that; “if an unfriendly foreign power had imposed our schools upon us, we would have considered it an act of war.” That was 1983. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush held an education summit, called “Goals 2000.” Bill Clinton was the chair of that summit. After days of deliberation, another report was issued stating that, “by 2000, all children will enter school ready to learn and 90% of our children will graduate from high school.” Many other goals were listed, none Read More ›

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Mississippi Should Take Education Head On

Mississippi’s 2020 legislative session, which started on January 7, will have plenty of bills for lawmakers to sort through.  Let’s hope education is at the top of their priorities. According to a U.S. news report, Mississippi ranks 46th out of 50 in K-12 education standards. Clearly a lot of room for improvement, which is why ACTE is partnering with Empower Mississippi – an independent, nonprofit advocacy organization with the vision for Mississippians to have opportunities to make choices that improve their lives through education – to begin shifting the conversation toward a fundamental transformation of their education system. Don Nielsen, a twenty-five-year school activist and program chair to ACTE, offers innovative solutions to the educational challenges facing our country. He Read More ›