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Educational Choice News

"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.

"New Study: KIPP Pre-K Has Big -- and Possibly Lasting -- Impact on Early Student Achievement" from The 74

on Tuesday, 22 August 2017.

Earlier is better when it comes to the KIPP charter network, suggests new research released Tuesday.

Researchers with Mathematica Policy Research, an independent group, found positive effects both for the combination of KIPP pre-K and KIPP early elementary grades and for KIPP pre-K programs alone.

“We believe it’s never too early to begin a KIPP education, and these findings show that starting KIPP at a young age can put our students on the path towards long-term success in college and life,” Susan Schaeffler, executive director of KIPP DC, said via email. Researchers studied KIPP pre-K programs at two elementary schools in Houston and one in Washington, D.C., between 2011 and 2016.

Continue reading "New Study: KIPP Pre-K Has Big -- and Possibly Lasting -- Impact on Early Student Achievement" from The 74.

"Don't Complain About Charter Schools, Compete With Them" from Education Next

on Tuesday, 22 August 2017.

Education debates are like urban myths. With every retelling, they gain more traction. Take the debate over charter schools: the battle lines have been the same for twenty years. The charter crowd says they’re the best hope for poor kids. The anti-charter folks call them a plot to privatize public education and accuse them of taking all the top kids and keeping out the most challenging.

The benefit of this dynamic is that it’s familiar. It holds just enough truth that it has staying power. It serves an important political purpose for the storytellers. The problem is that can prevent these storytellers from responding to reality—in this case the real impact of charter growth on traditional districts and schools.

Continue reading " Don't Complain About Charter Schools, Compete With Them" from Education Next

"Phalen Grows Network to 10 Campuses by Taking Over Charter Schools Across Indiana and Detroit" from Chalkbeat

on Monday, 21 August 2017.

Indianapolis charter school leader Earl Phalen has found his niche: Taking over struggling schools in Indianapolis and beyond.

Just four years after Phalen Leadership Academies started with a single Indianapolis charter school, the network has grown to 10 campuses across Indiana and Detroit, primarily struggling schools that it has taken over from other operators. That means they’re tasked with managing more students than ever — many of them at schools that have struggled for a long time.

Continue reading "Phalen Grows Network to 10 Campuses by Taking Over Charter Schools Across Indiana and Detroit" from Chalkbeat

"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