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Education Reform

Kids deserve a top-notch education tailored to their needs. That’s why the Goldwater Institute helped make Arizona the leading state for education choice. In 2010, five Goldwater reforms became law, including education accounts for special-needs students, a school-performance rating system, ending of social promotion, expansion of charter schools, and new certification requirements so that experts in math, science, and other areas can teach their subjects without a teaching certificate from a college of education.

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  • A Vision for Education and the Future of Learning

    Posted on January 18, 2014 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher

    Decades of stagnant student test scores and underwhelming high school graduation rates in Arizona and around the country substantiate Mitra’s isolated findings. Traditional classrooms cannot equip every child for whatever their unique future holds, whether they move on to college or enter the job market. In fact, school, as we have known it, may be part of the problem. Students shouldn’t be assigned to a school based on their ZIP code. They should be free to choose the best classes, tutors, or extracurricular activities from a menu of options online or in traditional classrooms, no matter where they live.

  • A New Day for School Choice: Education Savings Accounts Turn 3 Years Old

    Posted on January 16, 2014 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher

    This policy brief reviews the accounts’ first years of operation. Legislative changes since lawmakers enacted the accounts have given more children access, and in 2013, researchers conducted the first studies of how families are using the accounts. This brief will cover the new legislation and research, along with developments in a lawsuit that an Arizona teachers’ union and school boards’ association filed against the accounts. Finally, this report will offer three recommendations for education savings account expansion, fraud prevention, and academic transparency.

  • Old desegregation orders undermine school reform : Column

    Posted on December 29, 2013 | Type: In the News | Author: Clint Bolick

    Families are now fighting for new rights.


    Posted on December 16, 2013 | Type: Press Release

    The Goldwater Institute will work with Arizona lawmakers next session to expand the state's first-in-the-nation education savings account program to low-income families, according to Goldwater Institute Education Director Jonathan Butcher Monday.

  • Gaming the System: Districts Make a Dash for Cash in Charter Schools

    Posted on December 12, 2013 | Type: Investigative Report | Author: Emily Gersema

    Legislators and charter school advocates worry the sudden rise in district-run charters is a money grab by the traditional public districts. Several of the districts are increasing their budgets with “additional assistance” funds for charter schools without fulfilling the state’s primary purpose for charter schools – to increase educational options for students. Public districts receive on average $8,992 per student from the state, which is $1,532 more per student than typical charter schools, according to a comparison the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee released in September. This is largely because public districts receive state funding for transportation and capital funds, while charter schools do not.

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