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Educational Choice News

"The Moral Logic of School Choice" from the Wall Street Journal

on Monday, 25 June 2018.

Proponents of school choice offer many arguments for charter authorizations, vouchers and education tax credits. For parents, the reasons are often straightforward. Some cite better discipline, dress codes and an emphasis on teaching their traditional or religious values. Others mention plentiful school supplies, increased personal attention or a shorter commute to school.

Continue reading "The Moral Logic of School Choice" from the Wall Street Journal

"The Next 200 Years: A Post Mortem of the Once Promising Jubilee Catholic Schools" from EdChoice

on Monday, 07 May 2018.

When the diocese in Memphis shut down the once promising Jubilee Catholic Schools, I was surprised like many others in the Catholic education community. What happened, and what can we learn from it?

There is a range of views, but a diagnosis of lessons learned from what we can see from outside Memphis is in order. An autopsy is a growth opportunity to learn from failure. A post mortem of a failed school or network requires a thorough examination to determine the cause and manner of the failure and an evaluation of any practices or characteristics that may be present for further research, network development or educational purposes. These procedures, while tough, are vital if other Catholic schools and networks hope to avoid the same fate and, instead, thrive in an ever-diversifying educational marketplace.

Good leaders learn from failure. To do that, we need to understand what happened in Memphis. Here is what I learned from a post mortem of Jubilee Schools, along with solutions to transform Catholic education—especially in high-poverty communities.

Continue reading "The Next 200 Years: A Post Mortem of the Once Promising Jubilee Catholic Schools" from EdChoice

"Lawmakers Seek to Dismantle School-Choice Scholarship Program for Low-Income Students" from Illinois Policy

on Thursday, 26 April 2018.

It’s evident that too many Illinois students aren’t receiving the education they deserve.

Illinois students’ level of college-readiness trails the national average, despite the fact that per-student education spending in Illinois exceeds many of its higher-performing neighbors and peer states.

But Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson recently offered a hopeful insight. Referring to Chicago’s selective test-in high schools, Jackson said, “We want to see more students going to higher-tier schools, we want to see more diversity in our schools and we want parents and families to be more satisfied with their choices.”

Continue reading "Lawmakers Seek to Dismantle School-Choice Scholarship Program for Low-Income Students" from Illinois Policy.

"Education Reform Suffers When Politicians Put Careers Before Kids" from RealClearEducation

on Thursday, 19 April 2018.

School choice remains a popular concept across the nation. A recent national poll by the American Federation for Children found that 63 percent of likely voters supported school choice. The movement’s next step should involve expanding Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which give parents greater control over how and where their education dollars are spent while also granting them tax savings. 

In the places where ESAs have been implemented families have welcomed greater choice. They are able to use their accounts for many things beyond tuition, including tutoring and supplemental instructional materials. States like Arizona have passed legislation that would implement broad-based ESAs, and smart, forward-thinking ESA legislation remains alive in states like New Hampshire. Surveys in Arizona have found that families using ESAs are very satisfied. 

Continue reading "Education Reform Suffers When Politicians Put Careers Before Kids" from RealClearEducation

"The Next 200 Years: Studying the Long-Term Effects of Catholic-to-Charter 'Conversion'" from EdChoice

on Tuesday, 10 April 2018.

In 2014, Andrew Kelly and I wrote Sector Switchers: Why Catholic Schools Convert to Charters and What Happens Next, an examination of 18 formerly Catholic schools that had “converted” (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) into charter schools. With the recent news that the much-vaunted Jubilee Catholic schools in Memphis were looking to pursue the Catholic-to-charter path, I decided to revisit that paper. Where are those schools now? What do we know now that we didn’t know then?

Before I begin, I do want to reiterate a point made in that paper several years ago. We used—and I will use—the term “convert” because there simply isn’t a great term to describe what happened to these schools. Many of those who were affiliated with them as Catholic schools emphasize that when the Catholic school closed, it closed, and a new school opened in its place. We offered terms from the business world like “divesting” to describe what’s happening, but that didn’t necessarily do it justice either. For now, noting that it is a contentious term, we’ll talk about conversion.

Continue reading "The Next 200 Years: Studying the Long-Term Effects of Catholic-to-Charter 'Conversion'" from EdChoice