Author: Dan Lips

Teacher unions lose the ‘drain resources’ argument

School choice opponents like the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers often argue that vouchers, education savings accounts,  and other parent-centered reforms would “drain resources” from public schools. This reasoning forces lawmakers to choose between siding with public schools (and the powerful interest groups they serve) or parents[Read More…]

Project Nickel: A new search engine to help parents learn what public schools spend

In the 2019 feature film “Miss Virginia,” a working mother in the nation’s capital struggles to help her teenage son escape a violent public school and leads a grassroots movement to rally parents to demand new school choice options for their children. A turning point in the story occurs when[Read More…]

New evidence that disadvantaged children need better preschool options signals need for parental control of child care funding

A federal watchdog is warning that there may be lead in the drinking water in federally funded child care centers that serve low-income children across the country. It’s the latest evidence that Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services should be exploring ways to improve the safety and[Read More…]

Commentary: Where the nation’s largest school districts stand on reopening

Editor’s note: redefinED guest blogger Dan Lips wrote this analysis on school reopenings amid the coronavirus pandemic for The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. Fifty of the nation’s 120 largest school districts remain fully closed as of mid-October 2020, according to the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity’s latest[Read More…]

How children’s savings accounts can promote equal opportunity

Editor’s note: In this commentary, Dan Lips revisits an opinion piece Robert Reich wrote 20 years ago about progressive school vouchers in which Reich offered a promising grand compromise between the left’s and right’s visions for education reform. Today, Lips writes, state-funded children’s savings accounts are a new promising compromise[Read More…]

Reducing inequality in outside-of-school learning opportunities by investing in, expanding children’s savings accounts

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on one of the significant barriers to equal opportunity in American education. Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more dependent on in-school learning and have fewer resources to learn when schools are closed. As lawmakers and school leaders work to prepare for the[Read More…]

The state of equal opportunity in American K-12 education

Editor’s note: Like many education policy experts, redefinED guest blogger Dan Lips closely monitored recent results of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), particularly the fact that four in 10 lower-income eighth-graders scored “below basic” in reading. Lips concurs with others that these disappointing results indicate the nation has[Read More…]

Education savings accounts: a vehicle for parental choice

Executive editor’s note: This is the first in a short series of articles documenting the origins of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program. AZESA was the first education savings account (ESA) program, and it seemed like a good idea to tell this story before any of us involved got hit by[Read More…]