Parental Choice

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Chasm in Little Petra, Jordan
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The Chasm Spanning Public and Private School COVID-19 Responses

Public schools demand campuses stay closed while the majority of private schools do whatever it takes to open. What would happen if K-12 education became a free market with competition as the driver? Would this elicit a different response from public schools? Read More ›
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Concept of choice with crossroads spliting in two ways
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New Education Resource for Mississippi Parents

Empower Mississippi, a nonprofit educational advocacy group, along with other in-state partners, has created a helpful new tool called the Mississippi School Finder. The website “offers users a complete picture of public, private, and alternative education options available in their communities.” 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
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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 ›
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Young man passes from a peak to another on a book. The concept of scholarship and
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Why Only One Type of School?

A fascinating new micro school has been making significant strides in Arizona. Prenda is like the Splenda of schooling. An alternative to the traditional government-run school. What’s different about this new method of schooling? For starters it is placed in the homes, offices, or studios of the coaches or mentors. This not only shifts the old classroom setting, desks lined up facing the front of the classroom. It also eliminates the need for specific degrees or credentials for those who are willing to connect with young people. There is a valid concern about the qualifications of those doing the teaching. Not everyone is qualified to teach. However, the elimination of certifications opens the door for very skilled workers in fields Read More ›

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Mandatory Busing Has Never Been Resolved

The customer of a school is the parent. Not the child. Nor a labor union. Nor the government. That’s the focus of David Armor’s CATO Institute policy analysis, “The Problems with Economic Integration and Controlled Choice.” Economic integration refers to a top down policy to equalize the proportion of low-income students in each school within a district. The idea of “controlled choice” is “a method of assigning students to schools by giving parents some degree of “choice” among the public schools in their district.” However, “choice” is a misnomer. The policy is more about control than choice. Armor states that the plans are “more like race-based mandatory busing.” Proponents of the economic integration models argue that there is evidence that Read More ›

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Family Matters Most

Variation of student achievement comes from factors outside of school, and that rests with the family.  The influence of family in childhood educational outcomes results from four factors: parental education, family income, parental choice, and the access to early childhood education. Parents who are better educated generate great social and cultural capital for their children. For example, children of better-educated adults are exposed to many more words. Don Nielsen points out in his book, Every School, that in “a home where at least one parent is a professional, a child will hear 2,153 words per waking hour. In a working-class home, the number is 1,251 words per hour. A child growing up in a welfare home averages only 616 words Read More ›

Mom and daughter hands, outdoors
Mom and daughter hands, outdoors
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We Need Leaders and Parental Choice

Idaho Ed News recently published an article focusing on charter schools and leadership, highlighting two separate charter public schools’ experiences.  Devin Bodkin notes that “starting next year, Bingham Academy and Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center will no longer share a director or ‘head administrator.’ The schools will instead operate under separate leadership according to emails between the schools’ board chairs and the commission.” Bodkin states, “Blackfoot declared an “area of need” for the middle school principal position.” The hiring of the new principal, “coincides with a new law that relaxes hiring requirements for charter school administrators. Typically, a principal must hold a master’s degree. But Senate Bill 1058 allows Idaho’s charter schools to permanently bypass the normal hiring requirements for Read More ›

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.
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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 ›

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Antiquated Funding Creates Disparity

As reported in Education Week, two states recognized as targets for educational transformation by Discovery Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education (ACTE) are in it for the long haul. Idaho and Texas recently battled to revamp their K-12 funding formulas during their respective legislative sessions. The changes are promising, even if some questions remain about the future. The discussions over funding formulas are greatly needed. As the article points out, “Virtually every legislator gets involved with school funding formula debates since they each have vocal constituents at risk of gaining or losing state aid. And anti-tax advocates, parents, and teachers—groups with get-out-the-vote prowess—are among those at the forefront.” The bottom line is that how the schools will be funded impacts Read More ›

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Parental Choice Not School Choice

Jim and Fawn Spady, the creators of the Washington Charter School Resource Center (WCSRC), and the President and Family Council Leadership of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants are champions for parental choice. During a meeting with the both of them, we discussed the importance of parental choice and the misconstrued messages that come along with choice in education. First is the claim that charter schools rob funds and students from regular public schools. In reality, charter schools are public schools. Even written in Washington State law is the name charter public schools. Charter public schools are funded based on student enrollment, just like other government-run public schools. Charter public schools do not add any new costs to the state’s public education system. Read More ›