Too often, the traditional public-school model fails students and teachers. Charter schools, scholarship tax credits, and merit pay are giving students a better education and teachers a better career.
There’s good news from Arizona’s neighbors. New Mexico’s newly elected governor, Susana Martinez, the nation’s first Latina governor, is putting her state on the path to real education reform. In her first press conference as governor-elect, she commented on Florida’s successful education reforms:
“The Florida model is a proven one…We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We need to do what is best for New Mexico as quickly as possible.”
Pima Community College Chancellor Roy Flores recently announced that he wants the college to consider new admissions requirements. What he had to say on the subject to his governing board was right on target:
Right now, the college does not require a high school diploma or its equivalent, a GED, or SAT scores that indicate that you’re ready for college. As a consequence, we’ve been accepting people who really aren’t ready.
A few bills pending in the legislature would allow Arizona community colleges to offer four-year degrees. The goal is to bring down the cost of a degree and produce more college graduates. Unfortunately the evidence suggests this is highly unlikely.
Arizona’s Auditor General Office recently pointed out how, with each passing year, less of each education dollar gets into the classroom. This begs the question: How can school districts claim they need more money for the sake of children’s educations when they keep diverting money away from the classroom?
Bill Gates endorsed the concept of giving highly effective teachers more students and higher pay at the Winter Meeting of the National Governors Association. Education Week noted that the Gates proposal closely follows the New Millennium Schools proposal that the Goldwater Institute published in 2009.
Fortunately, cutting edge practitioners have leveraged technology to greatly improve upon this idea.
On April 4th, Arizona School Board Association analyst Michael T. Martin wrote a column opposing the state takeover of the Roosevelt school district. He asserts that widespread lead poisoning is the cause of Roosevelt's problems.
Lead poisoning has been much diminished since the elimination of lead paint and lead gasoline, but not entirely eliminated. An examination of the evidence is in order before writing off these kids.
On Monday, the Maricopa County Superior Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed last September against Arizona’s new scholarship program, the corporate tuition tax credit. The program allows businesses to receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits for contributions to school tuition organizations that award private school scholarships to low- and middle-income students.
Remember the movie "Network"? I'll never forget that classic scene in which news anchorman Howard Beale decided he was mad as a hornet and just wasn't going to "take it" any more. Well, I'm there.
I'm a public school guy. I attended and graduated exclusively from public schools. My mother worked in a public school. My sons attend a fine public school that my wife and I are very happy with. I've got nothing against public schools. I am, however, opposed to dysfunctional public schooling, and that sadly widespread practice has just got on my last nerve.
Arizona's scholarship programs for children with disabilities and children in foster care have given hope to hundreds of children. Hope for a good education. Hope for a better future. For hundreds of children receiving scholarships this hope has become reality.
Sadly, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne told the East Valley Tribune that their hopes are coming to an end: No new scholarships will issue for next school year.