Tag Archives: liberal

Kansas Teacher Independence Story Makes National Headlines Again

A couple months ago I told you about the Kansas teachers local that fought for and won its independence from the state and national union. I’m excited, because the podcast I posted up there was quoted in the latest edition of School Reform News: In a March 30, 2009 interview with the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank based in Golden, Colorado, [Riley County Educators] spokesman Gary [sic] Sigle explained that last year only 14 of the county’s 56 teachers were NEA members, which gave those 14 members exclusive bargaining power. Others wanted a greater say in what was going on locally. Sarah McIntosh, the writer of the story, also interviewed my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow to get his take on the issue:


Secretary Duncan, Please Stop the Madness: Save the D.C. Scholarships

Okay, I’m throwing Legos again (sorry). I just can’t throw them far enough to hit Education Secretary Arne Duncan. First, he ignored and downplayed the positive results of the D.C. voucher program in helping to improve students’ reading skills. Now comes the insulting letter from the U.S. Department of Education that swipes opportunity away from untold numbers of poor kids in our nation’s capital. When will the madness stop? Liberal pro-Obama Fox News commentator Juan Williams shares the outrage. Check out this Cato at Liberty post to read what he had to say, and click on his picture to watch the video. Just so you know that we’re not alone (not nearly alone), Jay Greene also has been rounding up other responses to the Obama-Duncan hit on D.C. vouchers here and here and here. Not sure why this issue is so important? Listen to Virginia Walden Ford from D.C. Parents for School Choice about what’s at stake. Watch some of the D.C. scholarship students tell you themselves. There’s more, lots more out there. But I think I need to stop, give myself a timeout and go to my room so I can calm down.


More Clarity Doesn't Give Arne Duncan Free Pass on Voucher Study Release

When I wrote yesterday with questions about Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s handling of the release of the D.C. voucher study, I didn’t necessarily expect such a fast answer. But former U.S. Department of Education official Russ Whitehurst has posted “Secretary Duncan Is Not Lying”. It’s a worthy read, and puts to rest the more extreme hypothesizing that Duncan knew about the positive results and intentionally hid them from Congress during the important debate on reauthorizing the program. While it seems clear that extreme case isn’t true, Jay Greene also rightly observes that other unsettling issues remain: Why did Duncan suppress the positive results in a Friday afternoon release with no publicity and a negative spin? Why falsely claim that the WSJ never attempted to contact him? The Secretary may well not be lying about his knowledge of the study but his credibility in general is very shaky right now. I’m too young to really grasp it all, but it seems politics lies at the center of the controversy. The D.C. voucher issue raises the specter of divisions within the Democratic Party and therefore causes some adults discomfort. But downplaying the results of the research doesn’t serve either the kids in […]