Education Reform

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.

<p>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. </p>

Todd, a public school English teacher, and Andrea, a former teacher, know the value of a good education. So when it came time to decide how to teach their four children, they considered several different options.

Jen’s son, Maxwell, is highly intelligent. Jen recognized this early in his life, but she also saw the difficultly he had in some social situations. Anticipating the challenges he would face in a traditional classroom, Jen enrolled him in Benchmark Charter School.

This week the nation celebrates National School Choice Week, a national event designed to spread the word that every child deserves the chance at a great education. Each day this week the Goldwater Institute will share the story of a family that has used their freedom to choose the best educational setting for their child—from choosing a public school outside their home district to Arizona’s cutting-edge education savings accounts and beyond.

We cannot expect everyone to buy the same kind of car. People have different needs—a handyman wants a truck, a mom needs a van with sliding doors, and someone with a long commute needs a car with good gas mileage.

The New Year is full of promise for over 200,000 Arizona children. Why? Because those children now have more options for schooling than ever before.

As states around the country get set to start their legislative sessions in January, making sure children are attending schools that challenge them and prepare them for life tops the list of priorities. Texas is one of the states considering a new scholarship for children in K-12, and even U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has suggested a tax credit scholarship program at the federal level.

It’s time to let everyone—parents in Arizona and other states, along with state and national policymakers—see the results of Arizona’s education savings accounts. Over 400 children are using the accounts this year, and thousands more become eligible next year.

What would happen if we deposited all a child’s K-12 education dollars into an account parents control? A new report from Arizona’s Goldwater Institute discusses just such a system as it unfurls in their state. Report author and Goldwater’s Education Director Jonathan Butcher joins School Reform News Managing Editor Joy Pullmann to discuss education savings accounts. He says the U.S. education system is heading towards more personalization and family freedom.

When the Goldwater Institute recently recruited attorney candidates from out of state, I was able to use a lure I never would have thought possible: Arizona has the best public schools in the country.

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