Tag Archives: Washington D.C.

Brad Jupp the Latest Reformer Off to D.C.: Who Will Fill His Shoes?

Education Week‘s political blogger Alyson Klein wrote yesterday about another one of Denver’s education reform leaders being exported to the nation’s capital: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has a new teacher quality adviser … and he’s got a foot in both the merit pay and union camps. Brad Jupp is formerly a senior policy adviser to Denver-schools-superintendent-turned-U.S.-Senator Michael Bennet. In that role, he worked on school and district performance improvement and accountability, teacher effectiveness, and school choice, among other issues. After being on the short list for the job Duncan now holds, DPS superintendent Michael Bennet was appointed U.S. Senator. More recently, state senate president Peter Groff was appointed to direct an office in the U.S. Department of Education. Now Jupp joins Groff in the Department in the special role of teacher quality adviser. I would be remiss not to observe that when it comes to Brad Jupp, Denver’s loss is D.C.’s gain. He has a tough job cut out for him — that’s usually the case when it comes to effecting change in the Beltway bureaucracy. But he brings a rare combination of professional experiences coupled with a keen mind, determination, and a track record of some success. One […]

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Silly Little Me, Making a Big Deal Out of Those Poor D.C. Kids & Their Vouchers

Update: It looks like I have been out-sillied by Jay Greene, who has posted the original unedited draft of “too cool” Kevin Carey’s comments. I’m not very serious. Of course, you probably already knew that. Golly, I’m a little kid who writes about the world of education policy and occasionally cites Kermit the Frog and Cap’n Crunch. But I don’t think you quite get how un-serious I am. At least according to Kevin Carey from The Quick and The Ed blog:

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Reason Video Hits Nail on Head for Washington DC School Choice

Virginia Walden Ford, the parental crusader for school choice and opportunity — who recently appeared on an iVoices podcast — is featured along with real parents and students in this tremendous Reason Foundation video about the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. It’s worth the 5 minutes to watch: Just a heads-up that I don’t plan to stop writing about this issue as long as Congress and the President continue to undermine this successful opportunity for inner-city kids.

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Momentous Time of Challenges and Opportunities for School Choice

I may not have been able to throw my Legos far enough to hit him, but Education Secretary Arne Duncan is taking plenty of lumps from others, reports Joanne Jacobs and Jay Greene (see here and here and here). Of course, what Duncan is allowing to happen to the Washington DC Opportunity Scholarship Program is perhaps just the most outrageous of the latest challenges to school choice. There’s also the recent Arizona Supreme Court decision, and continuing attacks against the Milwaukee voucher program. In a new iVoices podcast, listen to Scott Jensen from the Alliance for School Choice discuss with my Education Policy Center friend Pam Benigno not only the challenges but the opportunities facing supporters of educational freedom at this momentous time: Let’s stay strong and not lose heart, folks. School choice is a major (and indispensable) part of the answer to our education woes, and there are many, many kids my age and older who are worth fighting for.

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Catching Up on Michelle Rhee While I Look at the Tigers at the Zoo

Today is a busy day: Lots of playing outside to do … I’m going to the zoo! So instead of a longer post, I’m just going to point you to what my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow wrote yesterday about Washington DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and “collaboration”: Maybe some think it would be nice that Rhee “collaborated” more with union officials — or career bureaucrats, for that matter. But it certainly isn’t necessary, and may even be counterproductive. Yes, the situation is complicated by politics. Not including the Washington Teachers Union at the table may end up unleashing various obstructions from an entrenched group. In his piece, Mr. Ben takes on two very different comments about Michelle Rhee’s recent visit to Denver — the one I was so sad to have missed. Have I mentioned how much I really like Rhee? Maybe she’ll play Legos with me sometime… or come to the zoo and look at the tigers with me – I love the Tigers!

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Who in Congress Opts for Private Schools But Denies Choice to Others?

The clever folks at the Heritage Foundation have done it again, coming up with a new version of a classic survey (H/T Core Knowledge Blog): The new survey revealed that 38 percent of Members of the 111th Congress sent a child to private school at one time. (See Appendix Table A-1.) Of these respondents, 44 percent of Senators and 36 percent of Representatives had at one time sent their children to private school; 23 percent of House Education and Labor Committee Members and nearly 40 percent of Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Members have ever sent their children to private school; 38 percent of House Appropriations Committee Members and 35 percent of Senate Finance Committee Members have ever sent their children to private school; and 35 percent of Congressional Black Caucus Members and 31 percent of Congressional HispanicCaucus Members exercised private-school choice.[6](See Chart 1.) It’s the perfect example of “School Choice for Me, But Not for Thee”. The report is great, but I have a couple questions for the author Lindsey Burke — in search of more detail: Senator Dick Durbin is mentioned as a leading opponent of the D.C. voucher program who sends his own children to […]

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Michelle Rhee Helping to Inspire My Radical Education Reform Side

I am bummed. Not only did school not get canceled today, but I also missed my chance to see Washington DC school chancellor Michelle Rhee. She was in Denver last night. (Follow that link to read the story and watch a video of her.) Where was I, you ask? Getting a long timeout and an early bedtime for excessive Lego-throwing. That made me even angrier, because Michelle Rhee is one of those few education leaders willing to take on a real fight to help make a difference for kids. Don’t believe me? Look at the article by Jeremy Meyer in the Denver Post: “We have public schools so that every kid can have an equal shot in life,” Rhee said. “That is not the reality for children in Washington, D.C., today or many children in urban cities today. That is the biggest social injustice imaginable.” Rhee said radical changes are necessary. “Unless we do something massive about this right now, unless we are willing to turn the system on its head . . . then all of the ideals of this country are actually hollow,” she said. Not that I agree with everything Rhee has to say, but it is […]

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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.

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A Parent's Voice: Terrific Source of Information for Colorado Moms & Dads

Rather than dwell on the latest anti-D.C. scholarship program developments that have me burning angry again (I hope this group stands up and does something about it), I decided to focus on the positive this Monday morning. Colorado’s charter school parents and other school choice supporters have another great resource at their disposal. If you haven’t checked out the new website A Parent’s Voice, you’re missing out on a terrific resource – one that complements our own School Choice for Kids site. Recently, my Education Policy Center friend Pam Benigno sat down with A Parent’s Voice creator and charter school mom Donnell Rosenberg to discuss the background and features of the site. You can listen to their iVoices podcast conversation here: Right now, Colorado is relatively blessed by our political situation as it pertains to school choice. But none of it — whether it’s open enrollment, charter schools, or online education — should be taken for granted. To ward off potential anti-choice political attacks like what’s transpiring in Washington D.C., as well as to enhance your child’s educational opportunities (both present and future), it is very important to arm yourself with the best information tools possible. A Parent’s Voice is […]

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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 […]

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