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Posts published in “Education”

The machine is not for the kids

The machine that runs the K-12 education system isn't designed to produce better schools.

U.S. public schools seen as threat to national security

The Council on Foreign Relations, described by the Wall Street Journal as "the clubhouse of America's establishment" is now in favor of something very un-establishment: school choice. The data is so grim, writes the Journal, that the poor performance of American public schools is now a national security issue.

Teacher tenure reform starts

The system of teacher tenure has suffered a blow that could spread to other parts of the country. Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee has fired 241 teachers for poor performance, are more are on notice. This is in a school system where, according to Wall Street Journal reporting, "Ms. Rhee said Friday she took over a system in 2007 where 95% of teachers were rated excellent and none terminated for poor performance. Yet, students posted dismal test scores."

The long reach of teachers unions

At one time teachers unions were professional organizations. Now they have been transformed into the same type industrial trade union that represents autoworkers or steelmakers, with the same political clout and parochial interests. This is at the same time that teachers demand respect for being professionals.

American education in 2030: teacher pay

Caroline Hoxby, a Stanford University economics professor who studies the economics of education, looks at the future of teacher pay and teaching. While her vision of what might happen is positive for both teachers and schoolchildren, substantial change will need to take place for this vision to be realized. Specifically, the nation will have to overcome the harmful effects of our nation's teachers unions.

The inevitability of parental choice

By Howie Rich

A year ago, the nation's largest newspaper wrote in an editorial that it was time to "move beyond vouchers" in the debate over America's educational future.

Although it did not reject any particular solution outright, the paper's recommendation at the time was that America focus its energy and attention on less controversial education reforms. In other words, it was a victory for those who have spent years -- and expended untold taxpayer resources -- in an effort to demonize parental choice and its supporters.

Then, two weeks ago, USA Today suddenly changed its tune.

School choice is a civil rights issue

Al Sharpton called school reform the civil rights challenge of our time. He said that the enemy of opportunity for blacks in the U.S. was once Jim Crow; today, in a slap at the educational establishment, he said it was "Professor James Crow." Sharpton is only partly correct. School reform is not solely a racial issue; it's a vital issue for the entire nation.

Stimulus bill payoff to wrong education interests

The Wall Street Journal analyzes some of the earmarks in the stimulus bill, and finds that specific provisions for spending are going to be wasted -- except that they payoff special interests:

Is 65 Percent the Solution?

At the Kansas Education blog, a post titled Is 65 Percent the Solution? examines some of the arguments and policy considerations surrounding the popular proposal that schools must spend at least 65 percent of their funds in the classroom.

Whatever that -- "in the classroom" or on "instruction" -- means. And that's part of the point. Determining what counts as expenditures in the classroom versus (allegedly wasteful) administration is somewhat arbitrary.

Besides -- and the post mentions this -- markets provide a powerful incentive for firms to operate not only efficiently, but effectively, too.

Charter school students more likely to graduate high school

Jay P. Greene discusses a news study examining charter schools:

The researchers look at whether attending a charter high school in Chicago and Florida increases the likelihood that students would graduate high school and go on to college. The short answer is that it does. ... This study comes on the heels of positive results from Caroline Hoxby’s random-assignment evaluation of charter schools in New York City.

Charter Schools Can Close the Education Gap

We don’t have these, to my knowledge, in USD 259, the Wichita public school district, and there are very few in Kansas. Across the country,…

Video Reveals Uninformed Citizenry

Utah Education Facts has released a video that illustrates the startling lack of information possessed by the average citizen. This video was made in Utah…

Obama Deserves a Scarlet “H” for Hypocrisy

At the Goldwater Institute, Clint Bolick exposes Barack Obama as another in a long line of politicians that deny school choice to the masses, but…

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