Tag Archives: relevance

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.

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Poll: 3 in 4 D.C. Residents Support Voucher Program; Wake Up, Congress

I’ve told you how many politicians have been attacking the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps some of the poorest kids in the nation’s capital. Not only does the D.C. City Council support the private school choice program, but a new poll conducted by Braun Research shows that the people who benefit directly from it — D.C. residents, and especially parents of school-age children — overwhelmingly support it: 74% have a favorable view of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program; and 79% of parents of school-age children oppose ending the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The survey also contains additional findings about residents’ views on the public school system, charter schools, merit pay, and related issues. But it’s their opinions about the successful voucher program under assault by Congress that carries the most immediate relevance. It only makes the situation sadder that the people who are affected the most strongly support the program while politicians put powerful lobbying groups and ideology ahead of kids such as these:

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A Glimpse at New Schools: Animas High

Guess what? It’s that time again — time to highlight some of the exciting new educational options opening up for Colorado students and parents this fall. Last year we were able to give readers a glimpse at 10 new schools. My goal is to do at least that many for 2009. First on the list, we start at the far end of the state in Durango for the opening of a new public charter school for 9th graders. Authorized by the Charter School Institute, Animas High School. Animas, which is intentionally modeled after San Diego’s innovative High Tech High, is slated to add grades each year so the first class will graduate in 2013.

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