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Educational Choice News

"Millennials, Especially of Color, Are Disrupting Charter School Debate" from The Hill

on Wednesday, 04 October 2017.

As the number of children attending public charter schools increases, the debate over the role of charter schools in our public education system has intensified.

Are public charter schools better than traditional public schools? Do charter schools serve the same kids as traditional public schools?  Should states place a moratorium on charter growth?

These questions, among others, imply false choices that mask the ways traditional public schools and public charters complement one another. But there’s hope for a path forward that pierces the polarized fire-fight that too often characterizes current discussions about charters — Millennials.

Continue reading "Millennials, Especially of Color, Are Disrupting Charter School Debate" from The Hill. 

"Waiting In The Dark: In NOLA, School Choice Brings Early Mornings, Long Bus Rides" from WWNO

on Tuesday, 03 October 2017.

On a corner in the Ninth Ward, four elementary school kids are waiting for their bus under a street lamp. It's dark outside. A bony cat slinks across the street, and a rooster crows somewhere — prematurely since the sun is nowhere in sight.

Minutes later, headlights appear at the far end of the street, and a yellow school bus pulls up. The kids climb aboard and wave goodbye to David Brooks — dad to two of the kids and uncle to the others. Their school day has begun, and it's barely 6 a.m.

New Orleans is one of few cities in the country that's all in on charter schools. More than 90 percent of Orleans Parish public school students attend charter schools. Leaders of the city's post-Katrina education overhaul tout rises in student test scores, graduation rates, and ACT scores. But with those improvements have come new challenges for families when it comes to getting to school.

Continue reading "Waiting In The Dark: In NOLA, School Choice Brings Early Mornings, Long Bus Rides" from WWNO.

"Is School Choice Enough?" from National Affairs

on Thursday, 28 September 2017.

As with so many issues — from trade and immigration to Russia and taxes — the Trump presidency has exposed a schism within the conservative movement when it comes to education policy. While expanding parental choice is a paramount objective on the right, a key question is whether choice alone is enough, or if results-based accountability ought to be sustained and strengthened, too. How this question is resolved will have wide-ranging consequences — for education reform in general and for the design of school-choice initiatives in particular.

Let's start in the realm of broad agreement: Conservatives believe that parents should be able to choose schools for their children that match their educational priorities and moral values. This principle stems from our deep respect for the family as the building block of a free society. A child is not a "mere creature of the state," and thus the state should not get to dictate where the child attends school.

Continue reading "Is School Choice Enough?" from National Affairs

"Study: School Choice Program in Florida Boosts College Enrollment" from US News

on Wednesday, 27 September 2017.

The largest private school choice program in the country, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, significantly improves the likelihood that students enroll in college, according to new research.

 The findings provide positive news for private school choice proponents who have recently endured an onslaught of research showing negative results for students enrolled in similar programs. The news also comes as the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are readying a tax-reform attempt viewed as a likely vehicle through which the administration can pursue its private school choice agenda, though broad outlines of goals for that legislation have not mentioned an education component.

"The Rise of Tax Credits: How Arizona Created an Alternative to School Vouchers -- and Why They're Spreading" from Chalkbeat

on Monday, 18 September 2017.

With its recent adoption of a tax credit scholarship program, Illinois became the 18th state to adopt an innocuously named — but highly controversial — policy that critics have described as a “backdoor voucher.”

In some sense, the description is apt. But by injecting a middle layer into the government’s support of private school tuition, tax credits help avoid some of the legal and political obstacles that have dogged efforts by advocates, like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, to promote school choice through vouchers.

Perhaps as a result, more students now use tax incentive programs than vouchers to attend private schools in the U.S. A federal tax credit is also seen as the Trump administration’s favored approach for promoting school choice at the federal level, though its immediate progress looks increasingly unlikely.

Continue reading "The Rise of Tax Credits: How Arizona Created an Alternative to School Vouchers -- and Why They're Spreading" from Chalkbeat.