Earlier this month, President Biden issued a sweeping executive order encouraging federal agencies to undertake a series of initiatives aimed at increasing competition in the U.S. economy. But there’s a mismatch between his approach to competition in the private sector and his support for monopoly when it comes to public education.
I was excited to meet a fellow high school teacher at a neighborhood potluck, but when she found out I worked at a charter school, she immediately said, “I don’t support charter schools.”
Boston just approved sweeping changes to the process by which students are admitted to its three highly-sought exam schools. The idea was to free up more seats for disadvantaged children, some of whom have long been underrepresented at the institutions. Yet in one important aspect, the plan may do exactly the opposite: It’s likely to significantly reduce the number of seats that go to low-income Asian American students.
Despite much anti-choice talk in national politics and some Congressional pushback, 2021 has seen an impressive string of victories for school choice at the state level, which is where it matters most. Was it the pandemic? Has the salience of the anti-school choice argument weakened over the past year? Or does Donald Trump deserve a lot of the credit? Read more.
Why fight over critical race theory when we can choose? You teach oppression studies; I’ll teach American exceptionalism. It’s a simple and obvious solution. But it’s also a naïve and unsatisfying one. School choice may “solve” the CRT problem for an individual family, but it can’t address the clear interest that every American holds in the education of the next generation.
I have such vivid memories of my first day of my first year of teaching. Kids filling into their desks—so many different personalities, moving pieces, things to keep track of. That first class seemed to both fly by and stretch on for eternity. At the end, I was wiped. I had no idea how I’d do this four more times that day and then 180 more times this year.
When history looks back upon the coronavirus period and its effect upon schools, one redeeming aspect may be the spotlight that’s been cast upon parental choice in all its forms.
Today, forty-four states—plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam—have public charter school laws on their statute books, laws that have led to more than 7,500 schools employing 200,000-plus teachers and serving 3.3 million students.
Was Eli Broad right to try to improve urban districts or should he have focused solely on charter schools?Dale Chu
Eli Broad, who passed away late last month at the age of eighty-seven, long sought to rectify the excessively bureaucratic, overly politicized, and woefully underperforming big city school district. But should he have pivoted instead to charter schools?
Can parent choice survive the cancel culture that is becoming ever more prevalent on both the political left and political right? What happens when the principles of diversity and choice in schools conflict with either the left’s or the right’s firm view of truth and falsehoods?
In the coming weeks, the House Appropriations subcommittee that decides on education spending will consider how much money to allocate to the federal Charter School Program (CSP).
When we imagine the typical school, at least one from the pre-pandemic era, generally the first thing that comes to mind is a teacher instructing a classroom full of students. But the scene can be quite different for California’s 190,000-plus students who attend charter schools where at least 20 percent of their instruction takes place outside of this traditional setting.
Full-time virtual charter schools received a great deal of attention as schools scrambled to transition classes online back in the Spring of 2020, and have experienced booming enrollments over the past year.
Our full rebuttal to a flawed critique of “Robbers or Victims? Charter Schools and District Finances”
Earlier this month on her “Answer Sheet” blog in the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss ran a lengthy rebuttal written by Carol Burris about a study that we recently published. Robbers or Victims?
The CDC’s revised guidelines for pupil spacing in school—three feet under most circumstances rather than six—opened a floodgate of gratitude from superintendents and parents.
School choice proponents argue that when parents vote with their feet—and dollars—schools listen. But choice is no match for the pandemic of wokeness that has seized K–12 education. The most advantaged, privileged, and powerful parents in America have been cowed into submissive silence when elite schools of choice adopt neoracist practices masquerading as “anti-racism.”
The Fordham Institute has published a two-part piece by Checker Finn on giving “power to the people,” as well as
Centering the work of charter schooling and authorizing in communities means listening to the aspirations and needs they have for students—especially communities that have been overlooked and not prioritized, like communities of color, those from lower-income tax brackets, and those with disabilities—and delivering with, not to, them.
Yes, I blurbed it—and I like it. Yes, a visitor to our home, a worldly and skeptical sort, hefted it and looked at the title and asked me “Isn’t that awfully thick for a book about optimism regarding American public education?”
Education funding is sticky. Once dollars are sent to a public school or school system, they tend to stay there.
Should President Biden follow through on his campaign promise to grant local school districts veto power over the creation of new charter schools within their borders, on the assumption that their expansion harms traditional public schools?
Opponents of charters contend that they drain district coffers, while proponents argue that it is charters that are denied essential funding. Yet too often, the claims made by both sides of this debate have been based on assumptions rather than hard evidence.
If the pandemic vanished tomorrow and all U.S. schools instantly reopened in exactly the same fashion as they were operating last February, how many parents would be satisfied to return their daughters and sons to the same old familiar classrooms, teachers, schedules and curricula? A lot fewer than the same old schools and those who run and teach in them are expecting back!
The father testifying before Virginia’s Loudon County school board
Let’s start with a little game. Trust me, it will be helpful if you play along… Grab a piece of paper and a writing utensil. Complete the following sentence: First-year or early-career teachers typically struggle most with… (Try to come up with a few answers.)
Beware the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” President George W. Bush’s trenchant warning resonated across the political spectrum when he voiced it to the NAACP in 2000, and it has more or less driven federal education policy ever since. For many, educators and noneducators alike, it remains a touchstone of how to think about racial equity.