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>

Prior to joining Goldwater, Ladner was director of state projects at the Alliance for School Choice, where he provided support and resources for state-based school choice efforts. Ladner has written numerous studies on school choice, charter schools and special education reform.

Ladner is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received both a Masters and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Houston.

Phoenix--We've come a long way, baby! In just 14 years, Arizona has gone from having no school choice programs to leading the nation in parental choice. A new report released today by the Goldwater Institute takes stock of the existing school choice programs, makes recommendations to improve each one, and outlines new programs the state could create to provide even more opportunities for Arizona schoolchildren. 

Reality is beginning to set in about education reform, at least in some parts of the right.

The conservative education reform agenda is centered in choice. Allow parents to choose the schools their children attend, and schools will improve as they are forced to compete, goes the argument.

The primacy given to choice was challenged recently by an essay in City Journal by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Sol Stern, titled "School Choice Isn't Enough."

Diversity of choices aids kids; keep government out of it.

America needs to invest more financial resources to help address a looming shortage of college graduates needed for the high-tech economy of tomorrow. Or do we?

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, current chair of the National Governors Association, used her 2008 State of the State address to call for doubling the number of college graduates in Arizona by 2020. Napolitano proposed paying the tuition for students who graduate high school with a B average to accomplish this goal.

While its intellectual roots go back a long way, the modern school-choice movement basically began in 1990 with the passage of the first school-voucher law in Milwaukee. The first charter-school law appeared at about that time, too. Eighteen years into the battle for school choice, Sol Sterns new article has set off a firestorm in the education-reform world. He asks: Wheres the beef? Are market-based reforms truly a panacea for our education problems?

Administrators across the state say the school-district-unification plans sent to Gov. Janet Napolitano are not the answer to higher academic results.

The report submitted Friday by the Arizona School District Redistricting Commission would affect more than 330,000 Arizona students.

Twenty-seven districts would replace the existing 76 elementary and high-school districts, eliminating 49 districts of the state's 227.

Washington-A hearing by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on minority overrepresentation in special education expanded into a three-hour discussion that touched on parental choice, school officials judgment calls on special education placements, and effective early-childhood education.

The commission plans to sift through the interconnected issues raised at the Dec. 3 hearing and make recommendations on the minority-overrepresentation issue, which has vexed educators for years.

On June 11, 2007, the Goldwater Institute published A Test of Credibility: NAEP versus TerraNova Test Score Results in Arizona. Recently, the Arizona Department of Education published a 12-page response.  Here, Dr. Matthew Ladner, Goldwater Institute Vice President of Research and coauthor of A Test of Credibility, discusses the ADEs claims.

Mark Twain once quipped, No mans life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. That is often true, but as the lawmaking branch of government, the legislature also has a great capacity to protect life, liberty, and property.

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