Tag Archives: race

Let's Make Vocational Programs a Bigger Slice of School Choice Menu

You probably assume a prolific blogging prodigy like myself eventually will head to a prestigious 4-year university — maybe even with Doogie Howser-like potential. But what if when I turn 16 some day my heart is set on a career as a plumber or a chef? You wouldn’t deny me that, would you? Writing for the America’s Future Foundation, Liam Julian of the Hoover Institution says we could take a big bite out of our high school dropout problem by engaging more students in vocational education programs — particularly those that integrate academics directly with students’ career aspirations, providing greater relevance to many teens (H/T Heritage Insider): Imagine a 17-year-old who does not want to attend college (or at least not right away); who finds parsing Macbeth maddeningly immaterial; who yearns to learn a practical skill and put it to use; who feels his personal strengths are being ignored and wasted; who is annoyed by his school’s lackluster teachers, classroom chaos, and general atmosphere of indifference. Too often, such a pupil has no other options. He has no educational choice.

Read More...

Student Growth Model Enlightens Public … Financial Transparency Next?

More clear, accurate, available and usable information about public education is a good thing – good for parents, teachers, policy makers, and taxpayers — and ultimately for students like me. One good example of a step forward in this area is the Colorado Department of Education (CDE)’s new student growth model, featured in today’s Denver Post: The model shows how students have grown academically compared with peers in the same grades with similar scores on the Colorado Student Assessment Program over the past two years. “The bottom line is, the model tells us how much growth the child has made and whether that growth is good enough to meet state standards,” said Richard Wenning, associate education commissioner. Other states have adopted growth models, but Colorado is the nation’s first to use percentiles to describe the growth, Wenning said. Fortunately, the growth model doesn’t just compare students with their peers. It also uses an objective standard:

Read More...