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>

A new Gates Foundation report detailing survey and focus-group responses by more than 500 dropouts nationwide prompted a two-day Oprah Winfrey special and a Time Magazine cover story. The coverage exposed the sad reality that nearly one in three high school students drops out.

High school dropouts need options, not opt-outs.

Morty Rosenfeld, President of the Plainview-Old Bethpage (New York) Congress of Teachers, strikes again, this time on the subject of charter schools. I am struck by the straight talk offered by this teacher union president:

Would "The Donald" be satisfied with public school return on investment?

Imagine that I was on "The Apprentice," and Donald Trump gave me a very special project: teach 100 children how to read. Because of the vital nature of this project, Trump gives me five years and $4 million to get the job done. $4 million is equivalent to the total revenue provided to Arizona public schools for 100 non-special education students for five years.

"Hire your team, solicit whatever outside help you can for your task, but get the job done!" barks the Donald.

Mark your calendar for Friday, September 28, when the feature film Won’t Back Down hits theaters. Based on real events in California, the movie depicts a group of parents’ efforts to reform a failing school.
 

One of the perks of being a dad is that your children keep you current on popular culture. My son worked his way through the Harry Potter series this summer and informed me that “rememberalls” are small orbs to help you remember things and you can eat chocolate frogs, if they don’t hop away first.

He told me about the Mirror of Erised, which appears in the first of the seven-book series, and is a mirror that allows Harry to see exactly what he wants to. Everyone who looks into the mirror sees what they want to see.

You may be among the thousands of Arizona parents who bought pencils, notebooks, and backpacks last month to help your kids get ready for that first day of school. But with all the supply checklists, did you remember to check the grade for your child’s school?

As the evidence about the benefits of school choice accumulates, opponents start inventing new arguments.

For years, opponents of school choice have argued that voucher programs would drain taxpayer resources from public education. But it turns out they got things backwards. A new report by Dr. Susan Aud finds that school choice programs have led to substantial savings for public schools and steady increases in per-student spending.

Arthur Levine, former President of the Teachers College of Columbia University, has issued no-holds barred critiques of teacher training and school leadership training. This month Levine released an overview of researcher training in the nations colleges of education.

Senator Hillary Clinton recently unveiled a proposal for a new $10 billion federal program to offer preschool for all children. But, the Clinton plan is based on two flawed assumptions; first, that preschool is an essential component of all children's early education; second, that it's the federal government's responsibility to promote and manage it.

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