Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The New Orleans Case for All-Charter School Districts

Education Next – Neerav Kingsland

“Across the country, children in urban districts are being denied rich, rigorous educational opportunities. The causes of these poor opportunities are multifold: urban students suffer from high rates of poverty and violence; additionally, as a country, we do not develop enough teachers who can succeed in these difficult conditions. But, contrary to many leading reform voices, progress on the important issues of poverty and talent will not be enough to reverse the dysfunction of urban school districts. Poor educational opportunities will remain the norm unless we tackle one remaining issue: the structure of urban school districts. The structure of urban school systems has made a mess of the relationships between family, educator, and government. Families have little power. Educators are trapped in a Kafkaesque maze of contracts, rubrics, and rubber rooms. And government is tasked with the overbroad mandate of both regulating and operating schools. How do we right these relationships? My hypothesis is that we should transition our public education systems into charter districts, systems with the following structure:.”(more)

D.C. Students Benefit from Mix of Charter and Traditional Schools

Education Next – Scott Pearson and John H. “Skip” McKoy

“Charter schools are revolutionizing public schooling in Washington, D.C. In just 18 years, charter schools have grown from an initial 5 to 112 schools today, managed by 61 nonprofit organizations. This school year, charters will serve nearly 38,000 students—44 percent of all public-school students in D.C. And these schools, which consistently outperform D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) overall and across all subgroups, offer students a tremendous variety of quality educational opportunities. As the executive director and the board chairman of the District of Columbia’s independent chartering body, we are often asked whether we favor a “New Orleans” future for D.C., where charter schools eventually serve virtually all public-school students. Our response may surprise some, but we do not. Rather, we see students and families in the District of Columbia better served with two thriving and successful sectors: charter and traditional public. Here’s why. When Congress passed charter school legislation for Washington, D.C., in 1995, our public schools were a national disgrace, characterized by decrepit buildings, a meddling school board, patronage-based employment, sky-high truancy, and some of the nation’s lowest graduation rates and test scores. Enrollment in DCPS had fallen by nearly half from the mid-sixties, from 150,000 to just over 75,000 students.”(more)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Survey Shows Broad Bipartisan Support for School Choice

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“According to a new poll from Beck Research, just about 70% of Americans approve of school choice, including 47% which strongly support it. Only 27% oppose the idea. The Democratic polling firm surveyed 1,800 likely November 2016 voters across the country, finding the results to be similar across party lines, with 60% of Democrats and 67% of Independents in support. An even higher 81% of Republicans agree with school choice. In addition, public charter schools were found to be highly supported…“The findings of this poll reflect what we saw in the 2014 midterms and what I am seeing in communities across the country – a demand from parents for more options in deciding how their children are educated,” said Kevin Chavous, AFC’s executive counsel. “Educational choice through opportunity scholarships and charter schools provide these options. As communities from New Orleans to Milwaukee to Miami have learned, educational choice is an immediate solution for parents’ who have children trapped in underperforming schools. Americans know that a zip code should not dictate a child’s future.””(more)

Monday, January 26, 2015

On Designing K-12 Education Savings Accounts

Education Next – Jason Bedrick and Lindsey M. Burke

“As we celebrate National School Choice Week, education-reform advocates would be wise to reflect on purpose of school choice as articulated by Milton Friedman, the father of the modern school choice movement. Friedman first proposed the concept of school vouchers in 1955, arguing that by introducing consumer choice into education, vouchers could help create a competitive marketplace. “Vouchers are not an end in themselves,” Friedman wrote in 1995; “they are a means to make a transition from a government to a market system.” Friedman was likely even more innovative than education-reform advocates realize, because he saw that a real education market would create its own path, pushed along by market forces. Noting in 2003 that “there’s no reason to expect that the future market will have the shape or form that our present market has,” Friedman wondered: “How do we know how education will develop? Why is it sensible for a child to get all his or her schooling in one brick building?” Instead, Friedman proposed granting students “partial vouchers”: “Why not let them spend part of a voucher for math in one place and English or science somewhere else?…Why can’t a student take some lessons at home, especially now, with the availability of the Internet?”.”(more)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

To improve education outcomes, advocates urge school choice for all students.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“This is the story of two young black students who attended challenging Georgia public schools not long after the civil rights movement. They both share ties to a small Georgia town. One attended a public school in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta. At length, his parents saved enough money to transfer the older boy to a parochial school and, eventually, to Atlanta’s Marist School. He spent a lot of time at his granddad’s house in Cuthbert in southwest Georgia, where his father grew up. The other young man attended public school in Cuthbert. His parents had few choices for his education other than the county’s one-and-only elementary, middle and high school. Instead, it was cradle-to-college mentoring by family members and a few dedicated teachers who set boundless expectations and devoted years of selfless service to help turn several rural geographical obstacles into our stepping-stones of success — graduating from a major four-year college or university.”(more)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

School Vouchers Help Low-Income Minority Students Earn a College Degree

Education Next – Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson

“With school vouchers popping back on to state agendas in the wake of Republican gubernatorial and state legislative victories across the country, renewed interest in the long-term effectiveness of vouchers has quickened. But most voucher studies are able to look only at the short-term effects on parental satisfaction and student test-score performance.”(more)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

We pick the five best school choice moments of 2014 – Staff Writer

“In the almost twenty-five years school choice programs have existed, there’s never been a year without controversy, lawsuits and plenty of heated anti-choice rhetoric. That annual dose of sound and fury can sometimes overshadow all the good that has happened. So as 2014 draws to a close, it’s important to look back and remember some of the best moments and important advances in school choice during the year. Watchdog surveyed some of the country’s leading school choice experts, and these are their picks for the five best school choice moments of 2014.”(more)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wisconsin voucher programs march toward 30,000 student threshold

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel – Erin Richards

“The total number of students receiving private-school tuition vouchers in Wisconsin is about to cross the 30,000 threshold. The three voucher programs in Milwaukee, Racine and statewide enroll 29,683 students, according to results of the official state headcount in September.”(more)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

School Choice a Top Priority for Republican Leaders in House, Senate

Education Week – Lauren Camera

“Be on the lookout for charter school or school voucher proposals to pop up early during the 114th Congress, as school choice legislation was named a top priority by the assumed Republican leaders in the House and in the Senate, which will flip to GOP control in January.” (more)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

North Carolina’s New Voucher Program Already Improving Lives of Students

Education News – Robert Enlow

“That all changed when the North Carolina Legislature adopted the Opportunity Scholarship Program in 2013. After the program was delayed several times, Ms. Hare’s dream finally came true. She obtained a scholarship for Christian to attend a private school this year.” (more)