Category Archives: Graduation

Lessons from Outcomes in School Choice Research

There are often articles that eulogize or denounce the entire concept of school choice purely on the basis that a subset of charter schools or voucher students have increased, stagnated, or declined test scores. Of course, test scores have a viable purpose in predicting educational success–primarily as an easily obtained comparison standard–but they don’t account for the entire picture.


Business and School Partnerships are Moving in the Right Direction

Higher education institutions already appreciate the value of vocational education–you’d be hard pressed to find a university without internship opportunities or a work study program. Why is it then, that we relegate high school students to a purely theoretical learning environment? Many learn better through hands-on experience, many have interests outside of traditional curriculum, and many show promising ability and initiative that is suppressed in the generalized traditional setting. In order to afford our high school students with the opportunity to graduate with professional skills, and to give them the option to become qualified workers without attending a traditional four-year institution, we must welcome Colorado’s emerging apprenticeship, work study, and extracurricular programs. In a recent op-ed in the Greeley Tribune, titled It’s time for more public-private cooperation in education, the Independence Institute’s newest research associate and education policy geek Connan Houser features some of Colorado’s premier opportunities in vocational education. Whether a student desires to go straight into higher education, or straight into the workforce, these programs are exceptional opportunities for young professionals to develop real-world business skills and to begin exploring their career interests. I’d like to be either an astronaut or the Bronco’s quarterback when I grow up, but […]


Tough Choices and Doing "The Right Thing" in Education

It’s graduation time across Colorado and the nation. Happy kids everywhere are moving up a grade, finishing school, or digging in to do some more work over the summer. I think that’s fantastic, but I was reminded today of a different perspective while I was perusing my daily flood of education news, blogs, and columns. Brace yourselves. Today’s post is a little squishy. Stop scowling. We five-year-olds are allowed to be squishy sometimes. Most of you probably know that despite some amazing success stories, I have serious questions about number-gaming when it comes to graduation rates. The same applies to rates of advancement in lower grades. But I will admit that I have not spent a lot of time pondering the issue in terms of the potentially agonizing decisions teachers and school leaders have to make when it comes to sending kids out into the real world—or holding them back. That perspective, and the important philosophical questions it raises, popped into the ol’ thinker this afternoon as I read a guest post on Rick Hess’s blog. Written by Meira Levinson, a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the post puts forward a fictional scenario involving an […]