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>

By a single vote, over 87,000 children were given an educational reprieve last Wednesday by the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled that public charter schools are constitutional. But the narrowly rejected legal theory remains alive, a cancer that threatens to destroy education reform around the nation.

Studies show NCLB duplicative, private schools have higher teacher-student ratio

Under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, states, local governments, private institutions, and the people--not the federal government--bear the responsibility of funding and administering education. Congress, however, circumvents the 10th Amendment through the Spending Clause in Article 1 to justify funding a vast array of federal programs, including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). NCLB created a federal education accountability system that often conflicts with Arizona's existing education accountability system, AZ Learns. As a result, principled federalists, frustrated by the overly prescriptive federal education law, have called for Arizona to opt out of NCLB.

Proposition 203, "First Things First," was designed to be popular. But should it be? It strengthens government's role in the upbringing of young children, at the expense of parents. And it's funded with a regressive, unstable tax.

Darcy Olsen is interviewed by Channel 12's Tram Mai regarding newly enacted school choice programs.

We can't spend our way out of this problem.

Total education funding now consumes more than 60 percent of Arizona's general fund. But there is no pleasing some.

John Wright, president of the Arizona Education Association, says the bi-partisan budget deal "represents a monumental missed opportunity." Despite receiving a nearly half billion dollar funding increase for public k-12 schools, Mr. Wright argues that still more spending is necessary.

What I remember most about preschool were the waffle patterned wafer cookies. You can still find them in the same three great flavors as always -- chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

Preschool has changed a lot since then. With childhood obesity on the rise, it's a safe bet that cookies are getting harder to come by. Building blocks and Lincoln logs are giving way to Dora DVDs.

But the biggest change may be the sheer volume of kids trading in sippy cups for school desks. Preschool, once an `a la carte option, has become an educational must-have.

Keep teens enrolled by challenging them more, teaching them better, expecting them to perform at higher levels.

A recent Oprah "Special Report" and a Time magazine cover story exposed a shocking statistic -- nearly one in three U.S. students do not graduate from high school. One in three.

Prompting the coverage was "The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives on High School Dropouts," a report by Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Gates Foundation.

A recent Oprah Special Report and a Time magazine cover story exposed a shocking statistic " nearly one in three American students do not graduate from high school. One in three.

Prompting the coverage was The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives on High School Dropouts, a report by Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Gates Foundation.

The study, which detailed survey and focus-group responses of more than 500 dropouts nationwide, sought to determine why students drop out and what might help them complete their education.

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