Education and Public Policy

Rhee: Elevate teaching, empower parents, spend wisely

Rhee unveiled the proposal today, breaking down what StudentsFirst referred to as “a call to action and a roadmap for state and local lawmakers …” Anticipating the polarization her proposals are sure to bring, she prefaced that the agenda “has assembled policies that will improve public education without regard to their point of origin on the political spectrum.”

No Child Left Behind demands we employ every option for poor children

In his Washington Post commentary today on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is still offering a narrow definition of flexibility and an unnecessarily limited set of options to reduce the achievement gap. Duncan lauded the bipartisan support in Congress for “providing more flexibility[Read More…]

One Florida mother shows how choice promotes equity

Gardner supports providing parents with more options, but he sees a disconnect – and, ultimately, a lack of fairness – between the perception of public school choice and the frustration parents experience when facing the admissions criteria school districts have established. He doesn’t address how private learning options can resolve that conflict, but it’s Florida’s program, in particular, that can help bring fairness to a process that supposed to empower the parent.

We’ll see more school choices with Rhee’s impatience

Rhee has lent her support to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, and she made it clear yesterday that her new advocacy group, Students First, will push for similar programs. Getting states to clear the obstacles to additional charter schools and pushing for opportunity scholarships will anchor what Rhee identified as a key component of a four-part legislative agenda for the group: an expansion of school choice and competition.

Improving the old, creating the new

Midway through this week’s National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, D.C., I was reminded of an observation Thomas Kuhn made in his 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. While researching how scientific fields progress, Kuhn found that during paradigm shifts communities work to improve the old paradigm while simultaneously creating the new paradigm that will render much of the old paradigm irrelevant.