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August 2017

"Keep the Federal Government Out of School Choice" from The Washington Post

on Tuesday, 22 August 2017.

School choice has many benefits. It frees people to select the type of education that will best serve their families. It makes educators accountable to the people they are supposed to work for. And study after study proves it typically leads to improved academic outcomes. But despite these advantages, that does not mean the federal government should push choice in a nationwide program. The dangers may be too great.

The Trump administration has made clear that it wants to support school choice. In his February address to Congress, the president called education “the civil rights issue of our time,” and he has pledged to direct $20 billion to advance choice. He also picked school choice stalwart Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.

Trump deserves credit for seeing the need to weaken a government monopoly, let parents choose the best education for their unique children and leave educators free to teach as they see fit. But there is great risk in federalizing choice: He who pays the piper calls the tune, and federal control could ultimately impose the same regulations on once-independent schools that have stifled public institutions.

Continue reading "Keep the Federal Government Out of School Choice" from The Washington Post.

"DeVos Charges Ahead on School Choice" from The Hill

on Wednesday, 16 August 2017.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has become an ardent foot soldier for President Trump's deregulatory agenda while aggressively pushing her own school choice initiatives.

The billionaire businesswoman was one of Trump’s most controversial Cabinet selections, with Democrats and liberal groups assailing her lack of experience in public schools and her years at the helm of an organization that promoted school privatization.

The criticism hasn’t faded, but DeVos is charging ahead.

Continue reading "DeVos Charges Ahead on School Choice" from The Hill

"A Rare Shot for School Choice in Illinois" from the Chicago Tribune

on Sunday, 13 August 2017.

For too long, low-income children in Illinois have been prisoners of their ZIP codes. Their educational opportunities are determined by arbitrary lines on a map that pen families inside a school district's boundaries.

Lawmakers who are wrestling over a new school funding formula this week should embrace a compromise that would rescue those children. They can advance a proposal creating scholarships for low- and middle-income kids to attend school outside their district boundaries.

Continue reading "A Rare Shot for School Choice in Illinois" from the Chicago Tribune.

"Two Decades of Choice" from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

on Tuesday, 18 July 2017.

In the mid-1990s, an idea had taken root in the minds of some Pennsylvania political leaders and wasn’t letting go.

Fresh off a failed attempt to create a statewide school vouchers program, Gov. Tom Ridge and fellow supporters of school choice turned to charter schools as a backup plan for education reform. After months of meetings and rigorous lobbying, the state Legislature approved the Pennsylvania Charter School Law in June 1997.

Continue reading "Two Decades of Choice" from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

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