Tag Archives: Goldwater Institute

Could You (or Colorado High Schoolers) Outshine Arizona's Civic Illiteracy?

This news from the Goldwater Institute’s Matt Ladner about the basic civic illiteracy of Arizona high school students is depressing, especially a week before our nation’s birthday. A simple 10-question quiz failed by the overwhelming majority of students. Apparently, charter school kids did better than other public school kids, and private schoolers did even better. No group did well, though. I have to wonder: What about homeschoolers? (Maybe there weren’t enough of them to tally the results.) The big people in my life insist that basic civic literacy is absolutely crucial for the Republic to survive in the future. You know, my future? Let’s pay attention, people. Anyway, here are the 10 questions, taken directly from the U.S. Citizenship exam:

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Discuss the "Rock Star" Teacher Idea While I Take a Trip to the Beach

Next week I’ll be on vacation at the beach, and blogging won’t be high on my priority list. But before taking off, I want to leave you with a glimpse into a school model based on the “rock star” teacher idea. This doesn’t mean bringing in real-life rock stars to teach. To my mom and dad, that probably would be some guy named Bon Jovi. To my gramps, maybe some ancient dude named Elvis I’ve heard him talk about. But they’d all be wrong. In a nutshell, the idea is to free up funds to pay the best teachers more by allowing for larger class sizes. The question is: Will it work? Over at Jay Greene’s blog, Dr. Matt Ladner has written about the “rock star” teacher idea several times. The latest highlights a New York Times story about a Washington Heights school scheduled to open in the fall that will pay its eight teachers each $125,000 a year, with a chance to earn more in performance incentives.

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Clint Bolick: Hispanic Electoral Support Hinges on School Choice

Clint Bolick – one of the heroes of the school choice movement – had a piece in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week about the political possibilities of reaching out to Hispanics on the school choice issue (H/T Matt Ladner): Hispanic votes will be crucial in key battleground states, including Florida, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. George W. Bush won 40% of Hispanic votes in 2004, but support slipped to 30% for GOP congressional candidates in 2006. Mr. Obama fared poorly among Hispanics in the presidential primaries, while Mr. McCain carried 74% of Hispanic votes when he won re-election to the Senate in 2004. All that adds up to this: Hispanics voting on school choice could tip the balance of the election. Hispanic voters are overwhelmingly young and have exhibited a propensity toward political independence — and no issue is more tangible for them than educational opportunity. If Hispanics align their voting with the educational interests of their children, it could alter the electoral landscape — not merely for this election, but permanently. Of course, a great tool for parents – including Hispanics – to learn more about their Colorado educational options is the School Choice for Kids website […]

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