• School choice makes national waves | Illinois Statehouse News
    As consumers, we have an endless number of options when it comes to spending money — we choose everything from the clothes we buy to the colleges we attend. Our grocery stores carry dozens of varieties of breakfast cereal, our ice cream parlors have 31 or more flavors and our towns have churches that represent diverse denominations. It’s not a new phenomenon. But increasingly, that desire for choice is muscling its way into one of America’s largest monopolies — the public school system. The belief shared by all school choice programs is a simple one — no two children are the same, and school systems should not treat them as such.
  • ‘Rubber Rooms’ Kissing Cousin: New York City’s Absent Teacher Reserve Program
    This – once again – raises the all-important question: are schools designed to meet the developmental needs of children or the employment needs of adults?
  • Bedford Co.-Harris will add magnet program
    A magnet program at the middle school level will be phased in gradually, starting next year with the sixth grade and adding an additional grade each year, according to discussion at Thursday night’s meeting of Bedford County Board of Education.
  • Study: Minority Students Often Struggle Under Worst Teachers
    A new study by Education Trust-West, an education reform advocacy organization, has found that poor, minority children are consistently stuck with the worst-performing teachers.
  • School Choice Week Highlights Demand for Options
    They understand that too many children are trapped in inner-city schools where it is dangerous to even walk to school every day and where academic success is a forgotten memory. They believe that too many children – rich or poor, rural, urban or suburban – are not being challenged in the classroom. And they are getting fed up with a system where only the wealthy can afford to move their children to a more effective school. What they want is simple: a system that doesn’t assign children to schools based on address but instead allows parents to select a school based on a child’s need.
  • Government seeks help to stop teacher-led cheating
    The Obama administration is creating a manual showing how schools can fight teacher-led cheating on standardized tests, asking educators to help stomp out “testing irregularities.” The U.S. Department of Education says it will host a symposium on cheating and publish “best practices” recommendations on how to prevent, detect and respond to cheating in schools.
  • School choice reforms are more vital than ever
    AS we honor National School Choice week beginning Sunday, one fact stands out: 2012 marks the year when there can be no turning back in school choice reforms. Interestingly, what was once almost solely a Republican issue has been joined by some courageous Democrats who have begun to push back against the powerful teachers unions and other organizations like the NAACP. By challenging these traditional political allies, they have transcended politics and embraced choice as a civil rights issue. Any political partisanship that divides us must remain secondary so that we can devote every ounce of our collective will to quickly prevail in what is without question the most crucial battle of our time. How can anyone say that kids should be condemned to go to the school down their street, no matter how poorly that school may be functioning and no matter how violent it may be? How can anyone refuse a family that can’t afford full tuition to a private school a return of some of their tax dollars to help defray the costs of that private school? How can anyone deny a parent who chooses to send their child to a charter school that does a better job of educating because it does not have to abide by the onerous union/district contracts that restrict teachers in traditional public schools from doing the best job they can do? Why should a child be forced to go to a public school where there is no accountability for teachers?

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