Category

Parental Choice

Scholarship concept
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 ›

boarding
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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 ›

Protecting Hands Over Paper Family / Family Protection And Care Concept
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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 ›

genius
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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 ›

frustration
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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 ›

Washington State Capitol Building
Washington State Capitol Building
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Washington Legislator Champions for Most Vulnerable

Former Washington State Representative, Paul Graves, is a true hero for foster children within this state. Foster children are some of Washington’s most vulnerable and on any assumed night there are roughly 10,000 kids in foster care in Washington. When Paul was in the legislature in the 2017-18 biennium, he worked on House bill 3010, which would have created a foster student scholarship program for children and youth in foster care, this giving them the option to attend the public or private school of their caregiver’s choice. Unfortunately, the bill was introduced too late into session and had not been able to make it out of committee. However, in this legislative session, a new State Representative, Chris Corry (R-Yakima) has Read More ›

Parents checking children homework
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Parents’ Imperative Responsibility

Government action is not going to rectify our failing educational system. Instead of throwing more money at schools, especially intercity schools, it is essential to have more family action within education. There needs to be a return of parental responsibility in schools. The idea that kids are failing in intercity schools simply because of bad teachers is untrue. Many intercity teachers are doing a marvelous job even in a broken educational system. “America 2000”, signed into law in 1994 and a product of a 1989 educational summit held by the late President George H.W. Bush and chaired by soon-to-be President Bill Clinton, reinforced the importance of a child’s parents in the educational process. The report stated that “Today’s young Americans Read More ›

oldest school house Saint augustine florida
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Florida is Taking Education Head On

A crucial education bill is brewing in the Florida Senate. As noted by Emily L. Mahoney in the Tampa Bay Times, the Senate intends to have the policy “filed as one, large package bill by the first week of the legislative session, which [began] March 5.” The bill is significant because it provides a framework for how to reform K-12 education to achieve greater effectiveness. Three key highlights outlined in the article are of great interest to Discovery: The Family Empowerment Scholarship creates a new school voucher intended to reduce the list of low-income children awaiting the existing tax credit scholarships. However, to make vouchers work, there needs to be excess capacity in the school system. In other words, high-quality Read More ›