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.
President-elect Barack Obama belongs to a growing club of elected officials who oppose school vouchers for poor families while sending their own children to private school.
In choosing a new school for their daughters, the Obamas did what any good parents should do: they chose the very best they could find. The girls will attend Sidwell Friends, an expensive and exclusive private school that counts Chelsea Clinton among its alumni.
Trouble is Barack Obama would deny the power to choose the best possible schools to parents of lesser means.
On March 10, President Obama gave a major education speech before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and declared that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan "will use only one test when deciding what ideas to support with your precious tax dollars: It's not whether an idea is liberal or conservative, but whether it works."
Last year former Deputy Secretary of Education Gene Hickok and I wrote a study for the Heritage Foundation critical of No Child Left Behinds requirement that 100 percent of students pass their required state test by 2014 or lose funds.
Recently I appeared on the Horizon public affairs program together with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, to discuss the No Child Left Behind law and our state AIMS test.
During the discussion, Superintendent Horne said the main reason Arizona students perform poorly on the national NAEP test, also known as the Nations Report Card, is due to a non-alignment of standards. If, for example, Arizona does not teach the math concepts in fourth grade that appear on the fourth grade math NAEP, one could expect lower average grades.
Last week was tempestuous among defenders of the embattled school choice programs for disabled and foster children. Following an East Valley Tribune report and an article published here by Tim Keller of the Institute for Justice reporting that Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne had decided not to award vouchers next year, Horne responded with a memorandum provocatively entitled Lies from the Goldwater Institute denying that he had done so. The Arizona Republic weighed in for Horne, blasting Keller and the Goldwater Institute for assertions that were insulting and untrue.
Year end is the time to make your scholarship tax credit donation. Darcy Olsen, Clint Bolick, and I serve on the board of the Arizona School Choice Trust, which allows the widest possible choice of schools and focuses aid exclusively on low-income children. Many other quality options are available however, so give if you can!
To address rising college costs, Senator Barack Obama has proposed a $4,000 refundable tax credit for college expenses. Will this really make college more affordable?
The higher education market is extremely distorted. Costs are out of control in the past five years, in state tuition and fees have increased by 35 percent. Demand is inelasticpeople think they must have a college degree and willingly go into enormous amounts of debt to get one. Transparency is extremely poorwe literally have no way of knowing for sure whether a kid learns more at Harvard or Appalachian State.
Tomorrow, the Goldwater Institute's daily news goes on vacation for the rest of July. Yesterday, Byron Schlomach did a wrap-up of the state's budget, where the news was relatively dim. Today I'd like to take a look at what's happened on the education front.
In the Dark Knight, the Joker burns a mountain of cash. "It's not about money," he maniacally explains to shocked onlookers. "It's about sending a message."