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school choice Tag

Once upon a time, a certain Senator from Massachusetts wrote about the virtues of school voucher programs. But you'd never know that based on how Sen. Warren criticized newly minted Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. Writing to Secretary DeVos upon her nomination, Sen. Warren wrote:
"For decades, you have been one of the nation's strongest advocates for radically transforming the public education system through the use of taxpayer-funded vouchers that steer public dollars away from traditional public schools to private and religious schools. ... "But the actual evidence on how private voucher programs affect educational outcomes is mixed at best, in many cases reveals these programs to be expensive and dangerous failures that cost taxpayers billions of dollars while destroying public education systems."

While school choice is under fire in some states, Delaware continues to expand its charter school and school choice programs. The ability to choose where children go to school, irrespective of zip code helps to raise the education bar and provides opportunities those in lower income locals would never receive otherwise. Delaware is an example of a choice-friendly state where one third of public school-attending children take advantage of choice opportunities. Once again, they're opening up applications for those wishing to participate in school choice or charter school initiatives.

The school choice fight rages on in Georgia. On the ballot this year is a constitutional amendment that would create a statewide "Opportunity School District". In 2012, Georgia passed an amendment creating its charter school program. Opportunity School District (OSD) is one of the last remaining pieces of Georgia Governor Deal's education reform initiative. Its function? To assist in the turnaround of failing schools. According to the proposal's official site, OSD is, "ased on similar, successful initiatives in Louisiana and Tennessee," and, "would authorize the state to temporarily step in to assist chronically failing public schools and rescue children languishing in them."

On the educational choice battle field is a fight over whether school voucher programs, charter schools, or generically speaking -- school choice, increases instances of racial segregation. Choice advocates maintain allowing families to select an educational setting that best suits their child regardless of zip code restrictions effectively decreases racial segregation. "Your zip code shouldn't determine your destiny," is their rallying cry. No longer subjected to their respective economic zones, choice programs naturally increase educational equity for enrolled students. The free-market approach to education requires schools compete at risk of diminishing enrollment and subsequently, funding.

The latest series of polling data suggests that support for school choice in America is on the rise. A 2013 Luntz Global Public Opinion Survey (via National School Choice Week) showed that a majority of Americans fully support having more flexibility and more choice in their child's education:
  • Public support for school choice is growing. 73 percent of Americans support school choice, compared with 67 percent in 2010.
  • Parents want more education options for their children. 64 percent of parents said that, “if given the financial opportunity” they would send one or all of their children to a different school.
  • Parents don’t feel they have enough options. 64 percent of parents agreed with the statement: “when it comes to the options to educate my children the way I want them educated, I have wanted more options for my children’s education.”
The Franklin Center recently released a new video touting their support of school choice and charter schools. Check it out here: If we want to address the problem with public schools in America, we need to get over the idea that there's a one-size fits-all solution to improving our education system.

It was announced today that Joel Klein would be stepping down from his post as New York City's School Chancellor. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Klein has served since 2002, when the state legislature gave the mayor's office control of the school...