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Educational Choice News

"The Next 200 Years: When Results Aren’t Enough—the Dollars and Cents of Sustainable Urban Catholic Schools" from EdChoice

on Tuesday, 20 March 2018.

Those who fear the worst about the future of urban Catholic education now believe they are right. Those who felt we had turned a corner were shaken free of any illusions that incremental change will be enough. Everyone has been left on edge. We know that the next few years may well be our last chance to ensure we can continue providing high-quality educational opportunities for generations of students to come.

One of the things that has been so painful about the Jubilee news is that there is no doubt that these schools are worth saving. The “Catholic School Advantage” has been proven time and again, and it’s as strong today as it has been over the past 200 years.

But the harsh truth is that results aren’t enough. If we want to preserve urban Catholic education—particularly in states where we are still fighting for school choice—we need not only great, faith-filled educators, but also savvy fiscal experts and business leaders who can help build sustainable institutions in a fiercely competitive environment.

Continue reading "The Next 200 Years: When Results Aren’t Enough—the Dollars and Cents of Sustainable Urban Catholic Schools" from EdChoice

"Deep-Blue Illinois Leads the Way on School Choice" from RealClearEducation

on Wednesday, 07 March 2018.

Imagine if we had listened to the critics and the naysayers.

Six months ago, few believed meaningful education policy reform in deep-blue Illinois was possible. Springfield was fresh off a bruising political battle over the budget and, amid the dog days of summer, the appetite for another fight was waning. Fortunately, a small group of advocates backed by tens of thousands of parents worked tirelessly to secure a bipartisan solution that expanded high-quality education options for low-income and working-class families of Illinois in the form of tax-credit scholarships.

Continue reading "Deep-Blue Illinois Leads the Way on School Choice" from RealClearEducation

"The Problem of Dwindling Urban Catholic Schools" from AEI

on Wednesday, 07 March 2018.

LAST MONTH, THE DIOCESE of Memphis announced it would cease operations of Jubilee Catholic Schools, a network serving more than 1,400 of the city’s disadvantaged students. Jubilee had become financially unsustainable. The diocese didn’t have the money to keep the schools afloat, and the low-income families they served couldn’t pay the tuition necessary to cover the gap.

Although many grieved the loss, those who follow urban Catholic schooling have become mostly inured to such stories. Inner-city Catholic schools have been closing for decades, a consequence of a combination of challenges including changing urban demographics; fewer priests, brothers and nuns; the competition from charter schools; and more.

But the news of Jubilee’s demise was especially poignant. This was not supposed to happen.

Continue reading "The Problem of Dwindling Urban Catholic Schools" from AEI.

"Do School Vouchers Help Kids Get to College? Studies Offer Mixed Results." from Governing

on Wednesday, 28 February 2018.

School choice is the centerpiece of President Trump’s vision for reshaping the Department of Education. In his recent budget proposal, Trump included $500 million in funding to support the expansion of school voucher programs, funding for the construction of new charters and the option for parents to use 529 college savings plans to pay for private K-12 education.

His approach is in line with proposals from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has long championed school choice as a way to help parents from underserved communities secure a better education for their children and as a means to spur competition that advocates say will improve schools across the board.

Continue reading "Do School Vouchers Help Kids Get to College? Studies Offer Mixed Results." from Governing

"How Betsy DeVos Softened Her Message on School Choice" from Politico

on Monday, 12 February 2018.

Betsy DeVos became famous — and infamous in some quarters — as the leader of an education movement that pushed for public funding for private schools, including religious education.

But a year into her tenure as President Donald Trump’s Education secretary, DeVos generally steers clear of the words, “school choice,” a phrase she once used often that's freighted with racial, demographic and religious implications. Instead, she opts for gentler terms such as “innovation” and “blended learning,” and speaks of coming together and “finding solutions.”

Continue reading "How Betsy DeVos Softened Her Message on School Choice" from Politico