Tag Archives: waiting lists

Virginia Walden Ford: D.C. Scholarship Program Under Attack by Congress

I’ve written about it a lot: the attack by Congress against students in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, that is. But I’m not ready to give up yet. And you shouldn’t be, either. If you need some inspiration – or maybe you’re just learning about this attack on school choice that benefits low-income kids in our nation’s capital – you really ought to listen to Virginia Walden Ford, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice, explain the situation in this 10-minute iVoices podcast: Is it really true that the best we can hope for is saving the scholarships of the 1,700 kids who currently receive them, and leaving out in the cold the thousands more on waiting lists to escape some terrible D.C. public schools? Maybe that is the best we can hope for on behalf of Washington D.C. students for now, but don’t give up. After all, it’s important to note – as Adam Schaeffer does on the Cato-at-Liberty blog – that voucher and tax credit programs across the country are growing and growing in bipartisan political support. Keep your chin up. Stay in the fight.

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Colorado Charter-Friendliness Gets a B, As 41,000 Students Wait to Get In

I don’t know about you, but some parents give their kids money for getting certain grades on a report card. Not mine (at least they tell me they’re not going to), but that’s a different story. If Colorado were getting money based on how well it treated charter schools, how would it do? The Center for Education Reform‘s new report Accountability Lies at the Heart of Charter School Success says Colorado’s charter school law merits a B. Only eight states do better. Further, though our state’s charters receive significantly less funding than their other public school counterparts, their overall performance is commendable: In 2007, 74 percent of charters made federal accountability targets of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) while only 59 percent of conventional public schools did the same. Charter middle schools in Colorado are making the grade as well. In 2006, 55 percent of middle school charters were rated excellent or high by the state Department of Education, compared with 41 percent of conventional public middle schools.

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Chicago Parents Glad for Charter School Option; Coloradans Can't Wait to Get In

Sometimes people get tired of seeing what I have to say about the need for more school choice. It’s times like these that are good to hear from real parents and students who benefit from having options. In that spirit, here’s a video created by the Illinois Policy Institute talking to families who benefit from charter schools in Chicago: As Denise at Colorado Charters points out, our state is blessed by comparison. In a state that serves nearly three times as many public school students, Illinois only enrolls 19,000 students (or fewer than 1 in 100) in public charter schools. Colorado has about 55,000 charter school students (or about 1 in 15 of the total public school population). Still, though, the demand is great. As Denise reminds us, 24,000 are on waiting lists to get in. What are we waiting for? Isn’t public education mainly about serving the kids and providing them the options that fit them best?

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