• Proposals to Remake Education System Hit Louisiana Legislature
    Louisiana lawmakers have introduced legislation to remake the state’s education system, in sync with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposals earlier this year, and the Senate education committee chairman said he expects they will pass “within a month and begin implementation.”. The set of bills would create the largest voucher program in the nation, limit teacher tenure, expand charter schools and online learning, and more.
  • How do we empower parents?
    arents must be truly empowered, however. They can’t just be empowered to choose charters, as some reformers believe. In most states, there is a surprisingly large inventory of private schools that are already serving low-income children. In some of these places there are few charters—sometimes (but not always) because the district is slow to authorize them. In Duval County, Florida, for instance, the district has only thirteen charters despite its large size (over 150,000 students). And not all of them serve low-income children. By contrast, there are over 100 private schools in the county that serve low-income children under the state’s tax credit scholarship program. Low-income and working class parents must be empowered to choose these schools, with taxpayer dollars. Why not? With proper accountability, transparency, and oversight, the providers offer a vital solution.
  • Businesses, teachers unions benefit financially from status quo in education
    Public education would not exist without the products and services provided by for-profit corporations. Every year, for-profit corporations receive billions of tax dollars from school districts to build schools and supply them with desks, books, computers, pens, pencils, paper, calculators, buses, crayons, and power to turn on the lights. And yet school choice critics continue to assert that giving parents more schooling options is a plot by for-profit corporations to make more money. I don’t buy it.
  • Warnings Sound of Federal Interference via Common Core
    So far, most states have quietly accepted Common Core as an inevitability, regardless of the fact that it might cost more to adopt them than they receive from the Federal Government, but at least one state is experiencing a bout of second thoughts. After agreeing to implement Common Core last year, the South Carolina Senate is now considering a bill to block the implementation of the math and English portion of the program.
  • WI unions not terribly keen on high school’s “Stand With Walker” chant
    When about 300 Sheboygan Lutheran High School students and supporters piled into the rotunda of the State Capitol in Madison last Thursday after the boys basketball team clinched a trip to the finals for the Division 5 WIAA state championship, they had some time to spare. Sharing the rotunda with a small group of pro-union demonstrators singing songs, the Lutheran High group broke into spontaneous cheers “Stand with Walker!” interspersed with cries of “LHS! LHS!” and the Common Doxology. The resulting furor since the event has surprised school officials and state Sen. Joe Leibham, a Lutheran High alumnus who invited the group to the Capitol for a photo with the team and a celebratory reception.
  • Updated: TN lawmakers move to cloak teacher ratings
    A new measure is drawing praise from the state’s largest teachers union and disappointment among some observers.
  • No need to hide teacher performance information
    Senate State and Local Government Committee 7-0 on Tuesday. It now heads to the full Senate. The house version of the bill is in the House State and Local Government Committee. Certain personal information about teachers, such as Social Security numbers, already is protected. But job performance information is relevant to the public’s best interest, and should remain open. The emphasis being placed on improving public education in Tennessee demands that teacher performance data be public so it can be used to help the public understand why their schools are, or are not, improving.
  • TN schools work hard to close achievement gap
    But under the state’s new measuring system, even students at the top will have to make learning gains of at least 3 percent every year. That’s the great equalizer that has the state’s best-performing districts, which include Williamson County, and the worst freshly considering how to move every child forward on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program.
  • SCORE Releases 2011-12 State of Education in Tennessee Report
    The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today released the 2011-12 State of Education in Tennessee report, the organization’s annual assessment of K-12 public education in Tennessee. The report also identifies four clear priorities for how to continue reform in the year ahead. The priorities highlight the actions that SCORE believes must be taken to ensure that the state can build upon its early gains in student achievement and become the fastest improving state in the country. These priorities include:
  • Tennessee AG says law prohibits Shelby municipalities from starting school districts before merger
    Tennessee Atty. Gen. Robert E. Cooper issued an advisory opinion today saying that Shelby County’s suburban municipalities can take no actions to establish new school districts – including holding referendums on the issue – until the city and county school merger is complete.
  • Report: Tax credit scholarships (“vouchers”) will save Florida taxpayers $57.9 million next year
    The little-known “impact” report, issued last week by Florida’s Revenue Estimating Conference, brings genuine financial context to the scholarship program, which helps low-income K-12 students. It says, with a degree of professional precision, that the Florida Tax Credit scholarship will save taxpayers $57.9 million next year (line 55, page 36).
  • Newspaper Editor’s Support for Vouchers in the Bayou State
    There’s been much talk in recent weeks about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to expand the highly successful New Orleans voucher program to students in failing schools and low-income families throughout the state. In recent days, some of that talk has come from the executive editor of the Houma Courier and Daily Comet.  As Keith Magill says in a recent editorial, supporting the voucher program is not about being conservative or liberal; it’s about helping kids who are not receiving a quality education.  Read below for more:

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