Achievement Gap

One legend’s call to today’s civil rights leaders: Erase the lines we have drawn in the past

After listening recently to RiShawn Biddle’s podcast calling on civil rights leaders to change their approach to education reform, I was reminded of an unpublished column written by one Florida legend in the civil rights movement, the Rev. H.K. Matthews. Matthews shared the piece with me and others after several civil rights groups last summer demanded that President Obama reconsider the core elements of his education agenda, which included the expansion of charter schools and the closure of consistently low-performing schools. These iconic groups, which included the NAACP and the Urban League, had good intentions in presenting their education policy framework, but Matthews found their arguments irrelevant today. Their call for equal opportunity, he wrote, was “limited by some familiar boundaries of generations past — those of neighborhood and family income.”

Children of color are not the only ones empowered by private school options

As the Florida coordinator of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), I am frequently asked by Democrats in other states why so many elected Florida Democrats support all forms of school choice, including vouchers and tax credit scholarships, but not tenure and teacher pay reforms.  The answer is black middle-class jobs[Read More…]

Figlio says private option for poor helps public schools too

The drive to improve our nation’s schools is not a zero-sum game, and a report launched today on Educationnext.org shows how alternative learning options for poor and struggling schoolchildren can have a positive impact on traditional neighborhood schools.Northwestern University researchers David Figlio and Cassandra Hart explain that a tax credit[Read More…]