Tagged Education Policy

Quote of the Day

On Tuesday, President Obama participated in the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University in Washington. While many topics were discussed, including the media, the president addressed the impact children attending private schools have on the “opportunity” for other children. Obama also said a private school education leads to “an anti-government ideology.” “What’s happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better… are withdrawing from sort of the commons,” Obama said. “Kids start going to private schools; kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks. An anti-government ideology then disinvests from…

Can We Have School Choice Now?

Avery Gagliano is a dedicated and devoted piano prodigy whose talent and hard work have won her the privilege of playing concerts all around the world, as a hand picked “international music ambassador” for the Lang Lang Music Foundation. She is only 13 years old, which makes her achievements all the more impressive. But as a consequence of her success, and her devotion to becoming an accomplished pianist, Avery missed ten days of school last year. So the D.C. public school system labeled her a truant, and assigned a truancy officer to her case. This despite the fact that in…

How the Teacher Tenure System Helps Undermine Education

I am late to this, but Frank Bruni’s editorial is well worth your time, especially since it shows that more and more Democrats are opposing the current tenure system in public schools. About the only shortcoming of the editorial is that it doesn’t make the point that the current deleterious tenure system that prevails in so many public schools helps make the case for school choice. Increasing competition for students between schools will force public schools to abandon failed policies like the teacher tenure regime, thus giving students and their parents a significantly better deal from their respective public school systems.

Neel Kashkari on the Jobs Situation in California

Neel Kashkari decided to highlight the bad jobs situation in California by putting “only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes and a toothbrush,” traveling to Fresno (by Greyhound bus), and seeing whether he could find a job. Any job. It should not have been difficult; as Kashkari points out, “I am an able-bodied 41-year-old. Surely I could find some work.” As it turns out, he wasn’t able to find a single job in the one week during which he carried out his experiment. Not one. Was this something of a publicity stunt…

Charter Schools Work

Behold some very useful evidence: Two of the nation’s leading economists and education scholars—Harvard University’s Richard Murnane and University of California-Irvine’s Greg Duncan—showcase the UChicago Charter School North Kenwood/Oakland Campus in their most recent book, Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education, in which they highlight the nation’s most promising educational solutions. Duncan and Murnane lay out America’s educational challenges in a context where growing income inequality has severely diminished the life opportunities of children born into poverty. The authors then analyze three initiatives around the country that are producing real and replicable results: Boston’s preschools, New York City’s…

Speaking of Bill de Blasio . . .

This is unconscionable: Mayor de Blasio brought down the hammer Thursday on three charter schools operated by his nemesis Eva Moskowitz, leaving hundreds of kids without classrooms this fall. “This has to be the saddest day for the Success Academy’s children, family, teachers, school leaders,” Moskowitz said after meeting with stunned charter parents in Harlem. “Right now, our kids are being evicted. Evicted out of their school. It’s wrong and we need an explanation. You’re going to have to ask Mayor de Blasio what the motivations are for a decision that will hurt so many children now and, frankly, forever.” Fulfilling a…

How Bill de Blasio Addresses Inequality

Andrew Rotherham and Richard Whitmire discuss the fissure that has occurred within the Democratic party regarding the issue of education reform. There is a Bill de Blasio camp when it comes to education policy, and the duo describe that camp’s “contribution” to the formulation and implementation of principles and programs that shape how kids are schooled: With charter schools, de Blasio has singled out a special foe, fellow Democrat Eva Moskowitz, who runs 22 Success Academy charter schools that educate 6,700 students. The mayor cites Moskowitz as the kind of charter operator who needs reining in. Classroom and office space that…

Horrible

I wish this were some kind of bad joke. It is not. Takeaway policy lessons (the lessons concerning morals and human decency ought to be obvious): The impetus behind the No Child Left Behind Act is understandable, even laudable: Keep school district officials from classifying all the hard-to-educate kids as disabled and thereby exempt themselves from any responsibility for educating them. But torturing dying children and their parents is obviously not necessary to achieve this goal. If a kid is in hospice, I don’t think we need to worry about whether he’s making adequate progress on his school initiatives. Give…

Lesson of the Day

Policy decisions can be–and oftentimes are in dramatic ways–driven by considerations of “isomorphic mimicry.” Count me as one who is very much interested in reading Lant Pritchett’s new book. Of course, I don’t judge a book by either its cover or its Amazon summary, but the following obvious observation regarding the formulation and implementation of an intelligent education policy does bear mentioning to command-and-control educators: . . . Schools systems tend be centralized and suffer from the limitations inherent in top-down designs. The second metaphor is the concept of isomorphic mimicry. Pritchett argues that many developing countries superficially imitate systems that were…

“No School Choice for You!”

If you’re the kind of revolutionary, trailblazing, damn-all-conventions parent who wants your child to have–gasp!–a quality education, and you would like to have the ability to get your child into quality schools just like rich people do, then you don’t have a friend in the Obama administration: One of President Barack Obama’s conceits is that he is a pragmatist who seeks policies that work rather than pursuing a partisan agenda. On school choice, he doesn’t live up to the advertisement. His administration has been relentless in its ideological hostility to the idea, and seized on every possible pretext to express that…