Education Reform

疑問を持つ人々
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Taxpayers Should Question the K-12 System

The K-12 education system requests more money from state budgets every year. Yet student performance has flatlined. Commenting on the issue in an article on Edweek.org entitled, “Public Torn Between Support for School Spending and Actually Paying the Tab,” the author notes that  “K-12 spending in recent years has eaten up a larger and larger share of states’ tax revenue. On average, K-12 spending takes up more than a quarter of states’ budgets. And while recent polls show swelling support for more money going toward schools, there remains sentiment among the general public that taxes are too high” So the question regarding school funding is “how to do it in a fair, equitable, and effective way that won’t create a Read More ›

Education System Not Getting Better, Only More Expensive

As Ben Franklin was leaving Independence Hall after the adoption of our Constitution, a lady asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?” He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Ben Franklin knew that the new country would last only as long as the electorate adhered to the guidelines delineated in the newly adopted Constitution. It was an experiment in self-government and it would not last unless properly protected. The signors of the Constitution also knew that an educated electorate was an essential element. In fact, they initially limited voting to property owners on the assumption that such individuals would possess sufficient knowledge to be an educated voter. Over the decades, we have Read More ›

Vintage microphone and headphones with signboard on air. Broadcasting radio station concept.
Vintage microphone and headphones with signboard on air. Broadcasting radio station concept. 3d illustration
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Michael Medved Interview: Donald Nielsen on Education Transformation

Introduction A guest this week on the Michael Medved show, our program chair, Don Nielsen, is a graduate from Harvard Business School and a former Seattle School Board President. A successful business entrepreneur, Nielsen is a senior fellow at Discovery Institute, based here in Seattle. Nielsen recently finished the updated version of his book: Every School: One Citizens Guide to Transforming Education. The State Michael Medved: “In the new addition you came up with a new insight and that new insight is?” Donald Nielsen: “The state, its not the school, its not the district, its not the federal government, it’s the state” Nielsen: “They control the vast majority of money, who’s allowed to teach, lead, curriculum, testing, compensation, and graduation, Read More ›

Broadcast
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Don Nielsen on the Education Gadfly Podcast

Don Nielsen, program director for the American Center for Transforming Education and author of Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education, appears on the Education Gadfly show to discuss “the feasibility of empowering school administrators, and whether it’s feasible in district schools.” Also discussed on the show is why Nielsen has crafted the new version of his book and how states can move forward with what he refers to as the “Game Plan.” Listen for yourself by clicking the audio below!

Old used can of street football game and legs in sneakers.
Old used can of street football game. Legs of a young man in sneakers. Children's street games with a can on the road.
Licensed from Adobe Stock

We Cannot Continue to Kick the Education Can Down the Road

Earlier this year, I wrote on Florida’s major expansion of education vouchers. It is wonderful to see that this legislation made it across the finish line. It is even more powerful than one imagined because it allows for even more students to enter the program than what was earlier discussed. Originally, the Senate attempted to keep the eligibility requirement at the 260 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Now that number is up to 300 percent, allowing for more students to enter. Allowing “Up to 18,000 students [to] enroll in the program’s first year” is just the beginning as, “the number of students who can participate could rise in future years,” writes The Associated Press. Not only does this legislation Read More ›

News Release

Discovery Institute Bailey Takacs (206) 292-0401 x1290 [email protected] Education expert applauds Idaho’s move towards student-centered learning He recommends a game plan for advancing education reform “Idaho’s model education legislation is an outstanding step in the right direction,” according to Don Nielsen, former Seattle School Board President and author of Every School: One Citizen’s Guide To Transforming Education.  He was referring to the legislature’s work with the Governor to eliminate the cap on the 20 schools that can enter the state’s pilot program for “mastery-based education.” “Next up Idaho should move forward in creating ‘Institutes for Educational Leadership’,” explained Nielsen, and added that “These institutes would have extraordinarily high admission standards, and would be populated with instructors from business, education, and Read More ›