Posts Tagged ‘school choice’

Obama and education: Money for Nothing

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

City Journal:

With two wars to fight and a reeling economy, the Obama administration wasn’t supposed to be about education policy at all. The stimulus bill, and now the omnibus spending bill before Congress, change that, however. The vast new resources that they shovel into public schools are sure to have an enormous and lasting impact on education. Unfortunately, though he keeps issuing encouraging sound bites, President Obama’s actions so far mostly continue the Democratic Party’s tired practices of subsidizing ineffective education policies and killing effective, cost-saving ones whenever they might threaten the adults who run the public schools.

Vermont’s Opinion on K-12 Education and School Choice

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Friedman Foundation:

This survey shows a striking contrast between public opinion and public reality. Responses indicate a wide disconnect between individual schooling preferences and actual school enrollments. Forty-four percent of Vermont parents said they would like to send their child to a private school; however in reality, approximately 8 percent of Vermont’s K-12 students attend private schools. Twenty-five percent of Vermont parents said they would like to send their child to a charter school. As of this school year, Vermont has no charter school law. Twelve percent of Vermont parents said they would choose a regular public school for their child. Approximately 92 percent of Vermont’s K-12 students attend regular public schools.1 As we survey one state to the next, we continue to see this stark implication that states do not have sufficient school choice systems in place to match parents’ schooling preferences

Heritage: D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The Heritage Foundation:

With the 111th Congress scheduled to consider its reauthorization, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP) may be in jeopardy. But a new evaluation highlights how the DCOSP is benefiting families, adding to the reasons why Congress and the Obama Administration should continue this successful program.

Program Background

The DCOSP was passed by Congress in January 2004. The program, which provided more than 1,700 children with scholarships of up to $7,500 in 2008 to attend a private school of their choice, has repeatedly shown improved family satisfaction and increased parental involvement. Since 2004, approximately 7,200 children have applied for spots in the program, or about four applicants for each available scholarship.[1]

The program has served as an alternative for families with children underserved by the D.C. public school system. Although the District spends far above the national per-pupil average ($14,400), D.C. students lag well behind the academic achievement of their peers nationwide, and only slightly more than half of students graduate.[2]

USD 259 now ‘diverse,’ but can students read and multiply?

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

On paper, Wichita governnment-run schools don’t discriminate based on “culture” or “socioeconomic status” — that won’t affect the wealthy, because they can afford private schools.

From KSN in Wichita:

The Wichita school board adopted three new diversity policies that now include sexual orientation in its language.

One policy reads: “The Wichita public schools shall ensure that there is no discrimination based on but not limited to race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, language, socioeconomic status, religion, disability, or skill level in the placement, instruction, and guidance of pupils.”

“It’s the first step to change everywhere,” said Keynon Tucker after the vote.

Keynon’s with the group Student’s United who first approached the board on the subject back in 2007.

“The young men continued to yell such things as fags and then grab sand and threw it in our faces, and I was gay bashed,” Jasmine, a North High Senior told the Board at that 2007 meeting.

The students wanted sexual orientation added to USD 259′s anti-discrimination policy. But the district’s legal council warned such a change could set them up for lawsuits.