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>

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.

For the second time in a decade, Arizona’s teachers union is trying to block children with special needs from getting the best education they can find. After kicking children with special needs and foster children out of Arizona’s opportunity scholarship program three years ago, the union is now trying to rob these children of their education savings accounts.

Contact: Rob Kramer, (602) 633-8961

A revolutionary school choice program in Arizona known as “education savings accounts” is expanding educational options in unprecedented ways for families whose children’s needs have not been met by traditional public schools. Meanwhile, legislators in Florida, Utah, and Iowa have considered enacting the program in their states.

“From the moment we entrust a package to an overnight delivery service, sophisticated technology tracks its every move. We can go on line the next morning and watch its progress toward the final destination. If something goes wrong, we know in an instant’"and can take immediate steps to address the problem.

There's an interesting phenomenon taking place at a west Phoenix elementary school.

It's called the Pride Program, and it's giving sixth-graders challenging courses in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

School administrators are implementing the back-to-basics program to lure students to Cartwright Elementary, which has lost more than 1,200 students to area charter and private schools. Martha Garcia, president of the school's governing board, says the school is "offering so much more now than before that we can attract some of those students we lost."

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