redefinED roundup: D.C. vouchers, Bill de Blasio, black voters and more


Arkansas: Gubernatorial candidates discuss education and school choice (Arkansas News Bureau, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette).

D.C.: Harmony Public Schools runs 40 charter schools in Texas and hopes to expand into the district (Washington Post). Critics contend gentrification, not education reform, is driving D.C’s NAEP score gains but researcher Mathew Ladner says gentrification is only playing  a small role (Foundation for Excellence in Education). The U.S. Government Accountability Office highlights weaknesses in administration and oversight of the Opportunity Scholarship Program (GAO, Washington Post, Education Week, Huffington PostThe Answer Sheet).

Delaware: The Appoquinimink School District hopes to enroll 465 students from outside the district (Middletown Transcript).

Florida: Private schools enrolling special needs students through the McKay scholarship program may lose up to $800 per pupil in funding if the student also enrolls in a class with the Florida Virtual School (redefinED).

Georgia: Hundreds of parents in Macon hope to enroll their child in a new charter school set to open in August, 2014 (NBC/WMGT 41).

Louisiana: The Obama administration is trying to stop the expansion of vouchers based on faulty logic and data not supported by research (National Review, Wall Street Journal). Many charter schools have been eligible to return to the Orleans Parish School District but none have elected to do so yet (The Lens). Another report shows vouchers did not increase racial segregation in Louisiana (this was the basis for the DOJ suit to stop vouchers in the state) (Times Picayune, Cato Institute). Republicans in Louisiana are reaching out to black voters with education and school choice (Times Picayune). The chairman of the Republican National Committee says Louisiana’s voucher program provides an escape route for students in bad schools (Times Picayune).

Massachusetts: Parents speak in favor of school choice and charter schools at a school board meeting (Herald News).

Michigan: Republicans in Detroit are reaching out to black voters with school choice as a uniting issue (BET). School choice in Pontiac is booming thanks to charter schools (Detroit News). Results matter more than whether schools are run by non-profit or for-profit companies (Detroit News).

Minnesota: Virtual school enrollment grows (Associated Press).

Missouri: James Shuls at the Show-Me Institute says tax-credit scholarships are a win-win for everyone (St. Louis Public Radio).

New Jersey: School districts use school choice money in different ways ( The state Department of Education discovers it has spent money on school choice students that never attended another public school of choice (

New Hampshire: The Cato Institute files a brief on behalf of the state’s tax-credit scholarship program (Cato Institute).

New York: Who will Bill de Blasio choose as chancellor of New York City public schools (Daily News). A new school choice app will help students learn more about area high schools and apply to them as well (Education Week). If de Blasio fulfills his promise of placing a moratorium on charter school enrollment, nearly 16,000 school children could lose their seats in city charter schools (New York Post).

North Carolina: The News & Observer editorial board says the state needs to make it easier to replicate and expand charter schools (News & Observer).

Oklahoma: Oliver vs. Barresi is a new lawsuit seeking to toss out Oklahoma’s school choice program for special needs students (Heartlander News).

Ohio: More people believe parents can make good choices for their children and that is why school choice is growing (Akron Beacon-Journal). School board member Bryan Williams is a big supporter of school choice (Akron Beacon-Journal). Catholic school enrollment in the Cincinnati area grows (

Pennsylvania: Three new groups plan on opening schools in Pittsburgh next year (Pittsburgh Post Gazette). Students will be able to apply for multiple schools of choice using one computerized application next year (The Inquirer).

Rhode Island: A new survey finds Democrats in the state favor school choice (One News Now).

South Carolina: Last year a parent was hurt standing in line for the “first come, first serve” public school choice option program in the Greenville County School District. This coming year, the district will implement a lottery for the program (Greenville Online).

Tennessee: Nashville Public School District approves a plan to save its budget but it comes at the expense of limiting charter school growth (Nashville Scene, The Tennessean).

Utah: Enrollment in public schools is up thanks to charter schools (The Spectrum).

Wisconsin: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke opposes expanding vouchers (Sentinel-Journal). A school choice advocate and longtime leader of Messmer Catholic Schools in Milwaukee will be honored for his lifetime efforts at improving education (Sentinel-Journal). With no enrollment cap, the Racine voucher program doubles in size (Maclver Institute). Lawmakers and the public discussed Diane Ravitch’s latest book warning against school choice and charter schools (The Star).

Nation: The headmaster of a Manhattan private school (that charges $41,700 a year in tuition) opposes school choice because, in his opinion, it leads to segregation by race and class (Huffington Post). A federal non-discrimination bill may prevent private schools from terminating employees for sexual orientation or gender identity (Heartlander News). Losing more faith-based schools would be a tragedy, says John E. Coons and Peter Hanley from the American Center for School Choice (Huffington Post). Blended learning combines virtual school with a traditional classroom (Center for Education Reform). How do we hold alternative charter schools accountable and do so fairly (Education Next)? Is school choice a solution to school bullying (RStreet)? Parents choose private schools for many different reasons (Friedman FoundationredefinEDAmerican Enterprise Institute). Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) Federal tuition tax-credit scholarship bill appears to be stuck in committee (redefinED). Tennis star and charter school founder Andre Agassi talks about charter schools (Wall Street Journal).

World: British education professor James Tooley believes private schools should emerge and allow the state to relinquish its role in education (The Guardian). Bridge International Academies in Kenya charges a tuition of $5 per month but can for-profit private schools provide a good education (Milwaukee Public Radio)? What a British teacher thinks of U.S. charter schools (The Guardian).

Avatar photo

BY reimaginED staff