Parents, students, educators, and pro-liberty activists across the nation will be celebrating National School Choice Week, which began on Sunday and will wrap up on January 30. It’s a time to celebrate the education choices some students now enjoy and to open up similar opportunities for all students. All children deserve access to a quality education. Politicians must stop making parents ask for permission to educate their children properly, because parents know better than anyone else which educational strategies and environments will work best. It is up to all taxpayers to demand school choice and give parents the power to guide their children’s education.
The administrators who run Chicago Public Schools, the taxpayers who fund the district and CPS parents have a real mess on their hands. CPS is facing a $500 million budget shortfall for the 2015-16 school year alone. Altogether, the district is over $1 billion in the hole, and the debt CPS is carrying has been labeled “junk” by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has voted overwhelmingly to go on strike during the 2016 spring semester, with a walk-out tentatively scheduled for late March. This would be the second teachers strike in the Windy City over the past four years and would serve as a glaring reminder shame has been fully expunged from civil society.
Because Arne Duncan, the former secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, often engages his mouth before his brain, the case for abolishing the department may have just become stronger than ever.
Another Common Core-aligned math problem is going viral. This time a 3rd grade math problem was marked as incorrect even though the student found the correct answer. On the other hand, submissions with the wrong answer have been counted right.
As noted in our collaborative article published Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Illinois Review, “Supreme Court to Adjudicate Mandatory Union Fees”, Rebecca Friedrichs is the lead plaintiff, an outspoken opponent of her teachers’ union who agreed to let her name become identified with the case. Friedrichs has taught elementary school for 28 years, mostly in the Savanna School District in Anaheim, Ca. You can listen to her discuss the case here, read a Q&A with her here, and a commentary by her in the Orange County Register here.
Some of the most reliable yardsticks in monitoring academic progress in K-12 education are the assessments known as the Nation’s Report Card, officially the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The results from its 2015 assessments are in, and they are not encouraging.
The Supreme Court put public-sector unions in its cross hairs Tuesday, June 30, 2015 by agreeing to hear a constitutional attack on the mandatory representation fees that nearly all California teachers pay in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, we listen in as Research Fellow Heather Kays joins the Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Daily Podcast with host Jamie Lund. Kays joins the podcast to discuss education policy and the top five reasons teachers unions must change.
By now most Americans are familiar with Common Core as a scheme by the federal government to rewrite education. This experimental program was sold to state governments, sight unseen; without a shred of proof it was better than the program it replaced. This maneuver was largely accomplished through taxpayer-funded bribes, deception, and federal bludgeoning. Common Core proponents used vague language about “excellence” in education, “raising the bar,” and “getting this nation’s children ready for the workforce”, as selling points that new standards were needed. Little or nothing was mentioned about the accompanying curriculum, rewritten textbooks, or the extensive, expensive new testing programs.
Florida’s PLSA program provides an education savings account for special-needs students and has proven to be a perfect solution for students like Brandon. Parents initially pay for approved educational services and then are reimbursed. Funding provided through the program can pay for everything from instructional materials to curriculum to approved specialized services and therapies.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Budget & Tax News managing editor Jesse Hathaway speaks with Rebecca Friedrichs, a California teacher who’s going all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States to fight for her (and other teachers’) protection against compelled speech and involuntary association by labor unions.
A hundred years ago, teachers first formed unions in the United States. At that time, too many teachers lost their jobs for reasons such as an unplanned pregnancy or gaining too much weight. Wages and working conditions often were substandard.
Although we often hear about distinctive American features such as apple pie, baseball, and freedom of speech, the single greatest characteristic of the American way is the willingness to provide opportunity for all. Unlike its European predecessors, the United States was always meant to be a place where your standing in the world isn’t determined by who your parents are but rather by an unrelenting spirit.
Its current form is the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which critics of varied stripes widely regard as a colossal flop. Yet, few in Washington, DC dare talk of repeal. Even with both houses now under Republican control, Congress continues to haggle into an eighth year over the particulars of reauthorization.
There is a bill under consideration in the Minnesota Legislature that, unfortunately, is not likely to become law. The bill would change teacher tenure in the state and replace “last in, first out” practices regarding teacher layoffs. If passed, the legislation would effectively force school boards to judge teachers based on performance when layoffs occur, rather than seniority alone.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Heather Kays, managing editor of School Reform News, speaks with Patrick Wolf. Wolf is a professor at the University of Arkansas. Kays and Wolf discuss school choice.
When the Nevada Education Savings Account (ESA) law passed last week, there were two main reactions: celebration from school choice advocates who marveled at the scope and positive potential of the law, and the anti-choice crowd’s outrage at an allegedly impending dismantling of traditional public schools.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of School Reform News Heather Kays speaks with Kara Kerwin. Kerwin is the president of the Center for Education Reform. Kays and Kerwin talk about Montana’s fight for school choice.