Tag Archives: public school choice

An Early Christmas Present: New Research on Parental Satisfaction Across Educational Sectors

It’s almost Christmas, friends! I can’t wait to see what I got—though it may be a lump of coal given my fire-breathing posts over the last several months. Regardless of what I get, I have a special policy present for you: new poll data on school choice! A couple of weeks ago, my Independence Institute friend Ross Izard highlighted some interesting new research in a Choice Media story of the day: The #StoryOfTheDay is brought to you by @RossIzard, Senior Education Policy Analyst at the Independence Institute: Poll Shows Private and Charter Parents More Satisfied Than District Peers. #SchoolChoice, #PrivateSchools, #CharterSchools, #EducationReform, #EDReform, #Schools, #Education, #Educational, #MomLife, #Mom, #Dad A video posted by Choice Media (@choicemediatv) on Dec 14, 2016 at 2:10pm PST The data included in this particular analysis comes from the annual, nationally representative Education Next poll, which we discussed back in August. There’s all kinds of interesting stuff to learn from that poll, including the fact that school choice appears to be gradually changing into a Democratic issue. That’s actually not terribly surprising given the importance of educational choice to many primarily Democratic constituencies, though some progressive leaders have yet to get the message. This new look […]

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The Inevitability of Educational Choice

Well, my friends, National School Choice Week 2016 is almost over. I know, I know. Every week should really be National School Choice Week. But let’s be honest, we can’t expect to pull together massive rallies like the one we had yesterday every week. And hey, at least you got to watch some sweet videos and learn a new dance. As this year’s biggest school choice celebration winds down, I think it’s good for us to pause and consider how far educational choice has come in America. Private school choice experienced explosive growth across the country in 2015, with 15 states adopting or expanding 21 different educational choice programs. More than half the states in America now offer some type of private educational choice option—an astonishing 59 programs in total. There are now 166,588 kids using school vouchers; 219,833 kids in scholarship tax credit programs; and 7,046 kids making use of education savings accounts in the United States. Sadly, Colorado has yet to unleash the full benefits of private school choice. Growth in school choice hasn’t been limited to private schools. Public school choice is also expanding rapidly. There are 6,700 public charter schools in the United States. Those schools […]

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Urban Charters Rock CREDO's Newest Report

Earlier this week, we celebrated Alabama’s entry into the world of charters even as we mourned the death of the first stab at an ESA program here in Colorado. We can’t leave the school choice balance teetering between good and sad, though, so today I want to take a look at some awesome new research on urban charters schools from Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO. Some of you will remember that my education policy friend Ross Izard wrote an op-ed last year praising Colorado’s charter sector for its continued progress and efficiency. That op-ed discussed previous reports from CREDO, including a 2009 national report that was particularly damning—and that was used repeatedly in the years that followed to hammer charters across the country. CREDO’s follow-up 2013 report on charters nationally found significant improvements, and its brand new 2015 report specifically on urban charter schools sees that trend continue.

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CRPE's Latest Report Reminds Me That We Still Need More Choice

Last week, I gave you quick rundown (okay, it wasn’t that quick) of two big charter reports. But a little guy can only write so much in one sitting, and there was still one more big report on public school choice from the Center for Reinventing Public Education to cover. We’ll do that today. The report sums up the results of a survey given to 500 parents in each of eight chosen cities, including Denver. There are some pretty big differences between the cities, so we’ll just focus on our capitol. Among other things, the survey finds that Denver parents have a more positive outlook on the direction in which their education system is heading than parents in most of the other cities. It also found that Denver parents feel pretty comfortable with their ability to find information on public school choice, don’t tend to struggle greatly with the choice application process, and feel that they have good public options available. Pretty rosy, right? Well, that’s just the good news.

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School Choice Vital, But Only Part of, Effective Education Reform Package

I just wanted to leave you with a quick reading assignment before the weekend comes. Writing over at National Review, Dan Lips from the Heritage Foundation says conservatives can’t give up on fighting for school choice but also need to focus their agenda broadly on a range of effective changes to the education system: First, principled support for aggressive reforms like vouchers has cleared a space for the types of reform policies that leaders like [Washington DC schools chancellor Michelle] Rhee are advocating. And, second, when it comes to systemic reform, conservatives have a broad agenda of policies that strengthen public education — and the results to prove it. Education reformers from across the political spectrum should give thanks to those who have spent decades promoting school choice. These efforts have yielded only modest (but increasing) enactment of voucher programs. But they have created political breathing room for less aggressive reforms — such as public school choice and teacher merit pay. Fordham’s Eric Osberg praises Dan’s article, adding: Of course we’ve said for years that choice and accountability go hand-in-hand, but also that such reforms to the structure of schooling have to be accompanied by changes in how schools and […]

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School Choice for the First Family and Those Who Need D.C. Vouchers

I find it kind of nice to be not-so-famous, without all the media attention. We should just let kids be kids, right? That must be a lot tougher when your dad has just been elected President of the United States. To show its support for the burgeoning public school choice movement, the people over at Democrats for Education Reform were circulating an online petition encouraging the Obamas to send young Sasha and Malia to a Washington, D.C., charter school. In response to the petition, the Center for Education Reform’s Jeannie Allen wrote over at the Edspresso blog why choosing a charter school would be a bad idea for the First Family: While my organization is the nation’s leading advocate for charter school choices, I’m not so sure I want to see the Obamas choose a charter school. Though I disagree with our president-elect on many issues and fear that obsessive government solutions and spending will push us further into a government dependency, I want the best for him and his family when they come to Washington. I want him to have no distractions other than those that impact us all. With a clever, tongue-in-cheek tone, Allen explains the rigorous challenges, […]

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State Board Candidates Marcia Neal, Jill Brake Discuss Choice, Innovation

Last week, I introduced you to two candidates for Colorado’s State Board of Education from the 3rd Congressional District – Democrat Jill Brake and Republican Marcia Neal – but had to close with an important question about them: I know I can sound like a broken record at times, but wouldn’t it be good to know where Ms. Brake and Ms. Neal stand on school choice (e.g., charter schools, online schools, open enrollment)? What about expanding local innovation? The students and parents of Colorado – especially those trapped in failing schools – deserve to know. So my friends in the Education Policy Center went back and did a little research, and followed up with emails to each of the candidates to give them a fair chance to explain themselves on where they stand on school choice and local innovation.

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Aurora and Other Districts Should Share More Wealth with Charter Schools

Last week I took a look at the work of Aurora Public Schools’ “outside-the-box” superintendent John Barry, and concluded: Of course, changing the leadership model isn’t the only way to fix public schools. There are limits to the sort of “top-down” approach. More “bottom-up” reform that decentralizes authority and empowers parents with school choice and accountability is essential. But there’s also something to be said for school boards working to find more leaders like John Barry. There was more to the point about the “bottom-up” approach than I realized. John Barry is doing a lot of good things from a reform perspective, but as Alan Gottlieb writes today over at EdNews Colorado, it appears that he’s missing the most important thing: But one area where Barry’s forward-thinking regime has been slow to see the light is on charter schools. Last night, the Aurora school board decided to asked voters to approve a $215 million bond issue this fall. From that amount, the district is ofering [sic] a total of $750,000 to the district’s six charter schools. That’s a grand total of one third of one percent of the proceeds. Not exactly generous. Still, better than Denver, Adams 12 and Douglas, […]

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