Tagged Education

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…

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Shows Its True Colors

In the event that you are looking for proof that anti-Israel activists on American college campuses refuse to tolerate any point of view other than their own, seek to disrupt the activities of others, do not believe in free speech and robust debate, and rely on shouting down people on the other side instead of actually defending their own views, I give you this. I suppose that in some sense, I don’t blame the BDS crowd for having adopted the thuggish tactics Jonathan Marks describes in his excellent and devastating piece. Any lawyer can tell you the old saying about…

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…

Now Getting a Bum Rap from the White House: Art History Majors

As Virginia Postrel points out, slamming art history majors is the kind of thing people do once they decide that they don’t want to let the facts get in the way when talking about higher education. Too bad that one of the people who engage in that kind of cheap shot rhetoric is the president of the United States. Postrel says the following regarding the president’s recent comments on art history majors (yes, I too am gobsmacked by the fact that running down a certain small group of students has become a priority for this White House): It was the…

Liberal Arts Degrees: Myths and Facts

Myths: You will be unemployed and unemployable if you get a liberal arts degree. Facts: You will eventually make more money on average than those with professional or pre-professional degrees. But that won’t be until your mid-50s, and you will still lag behind engineering, math and science graduates. Also, you will need to get more than just an undergraduate degree if you want to get good money. The younger you are, the more likely you will be unemployed with a liberal arts degree. Sources: Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. And of course, it ought to go…