Straw Men and Choice Regulation

Education Next – Jay P. Greene

“Neerav Kingsland is smart, honest, and, in a positive development for ed philanthropy, is now leading education efforts at the Arnold Foundation. I enjoyed his response to my series on the dangers of high regulation of school choice (it started here, and then had parts 1, 2, 3, and 4). But the bulk of the critical response from Neerav and others seemed to focus on defeating a straw man rather than what I actually wrote. They depict me as arguing against any regulation when my post was explicitly against “high-regulation” of school choice.”(more)

Nevada’s Voucher Program: The Next Legal Battle in the War for Parental Choice

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“There is widespread public support for Nevada’s landmark statewide Education Savings Accounts, a public opinion poll finds, as the controversial proposal prepares for its journey through the state court system. According to a survey of about 600 residents, 61 percent of Nevadans support the ESA, which was described as a program that “uses state funds to create a personal account to fund education expenses, including tutoring, testing fees and books.” There was majority support among respondents of all political affiliations and among union households. The Nevada survey was conducted just prior to the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filing suit two weeks ago to block the program on the grounds that it violates provisions in the state constitution banning state support of religious activities and requiring a “uniform system of common schools.” The American Federation for Children, which recently sponsored The Seventy Four’s New Hampshire Education Summit, commissioned the poll. It was conducted by The Tarrance Group, a Republican-aligned polling firm.”(more)

Douglas Co. school board to take voucher ruling to U.S Supreme Court

The Denver Post – Kirk Mitchell

“The Douglas County school board will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to allow it to use taxpayer money to send children to private schools. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in June that no public funds can be used to aid or support any “sectarian” institution. “The ruling by Colorado’s highest court paves the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to evaluate the constitutionality of Colorado’s Blaine Amendment, which is an ugly part of no fewer than 37 state constitutions,” Douglas County Board of Education President Kevin Larsen said in a news release Wednesday.”(more)

What Do Americans Really Think About Education Policy?

The Atlantic – Mikhail Zinshteyn and Emily Richmond

“Getting a read on the American public’s views on education is no easy task, made more complicated by just how much local schools vary. In a country with more than 13,000 school districts that enroll nearly 50 million students, a range of experiences and perspectives are to be expected. According to two polls released this month by different organizations, U.S. adults maintain divergent views on some of the most controversial topics in public education today. For both policymakers and political candidates, the poll results at times say conflicting things, even if the questions were worded differently.”(more)

Study finds housing vouchers best way to keep kids in same school

The Seattle Times – Caitlin Moran

“More than 30,000 students in Washington’s public schools — or about one per classroom — do not have a reliable place to sleep at night, and are therefore classified as homeless. These students experience a range of problems from psychological stress to hunger and lack of health care. They are also more likely to change schools frequently, which hurts their academic performance and can lead to behavior problems. The obvious solution is to help their families find stable housing, and a new study from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development concludes that the best way to do that is to provide families with permanent housing subsidies. In the study, produced in partnership with Vanderbilt University, researchers tracked about 2,200 homeless families for a minimum of three years.”(more)

School Choice And Nevada’s Revolutionary Education Savings Accounts

Forbes – Jon Hartley

“The late University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman famously observed that the United States ranks first in higher education across the globe while in terms of elementary and secondary education, however, the U.S. ranks near the bottom. The disparity stems mostly from choice. In higher education, Milton Friedman argued that the student chooses the school. The elementary and secondary school system is grounded on the school picking its students. Embodied in the continued work of the Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice, Professor Friedman’s support for school voucher programs was taken one step further as Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval made history earlier this month by establishing the first universal education savings accounts. The mechanism allows Nevada students that have been enrolled in public school for at least 100 days, meeting this eligibility requirement will allow parents that remove their children from an assigned district to use the educational savings fund dollars for their desired educational purposes.”(more)