Parent Empowerment

Choice groups, unite! Florida alliance brings school choice sectors together

In 2010, Doug Tuthill took a look around and realized he was living in a new era. “Florida had this rapidly expanding portfolio of school choice options,” said Tuthill, the president of Step Up For Students, which administers the state’s tax credit scholarship program. “Yet there was little dialogue among[Read More…]

Florida roundup: Low graduation rates, teacher raises, Teach for America & more

Grad rates. Not good for Florida, according to this new report from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2009-10, the state’s rate was 70.8 percent, putting it No. 44 among all 50 states and Washington D.C. And unlike other estimates, the federal numbers show modestly improving trend lines rather than strong[Read More…]

Key lawmaker says stars aligned for school choice push in Texas

School choice in Texas is getting a big push this year from a key lawmaker who has made it a top priority. “I’m the new chair of the Senate Education Committee and this is important to me,’’ state Sen. Dan Patrick, who has served on the committee for six years,[Read More…]

Magnet schools still growing on school choice landscape

It was the impromptu performance that theater students live for, and exactly what the stranger who walked inside their classroom came to see. Fifteen-year-old Samantha Ely, a freshman in Blake High School’s performing arts magnet program, was front and center, singing a cappella to an entourage of visitors including Scott[Read More…]

Religious families see benefits of ‘virtual’ schools

From Religion News Service: Since Florida became the first state to try them in 1996, virtual public schools have enjoyed dramatic growth, with at least some of it coming from religious families. Like home-schooling parents, parents of virtual public school students like having their children home so they can integrate[Read More…]

Emerging market in public education is a good thing

Words such as voucher, privatization, profit and corporation are often used as weapons by individuals and groups who oppose parental empowerment and school choice. Using words as weapons is especially common during periods of significant social change – we all do it – but the practice undermines civic discourse and[Read More…]

Florida roundup: Quality Counts, Common Core, rezoning retreat & more

Top 10 again. Education Week ranks Florida No. 6 this year in its annual Quality Counts report. redefinED. Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. Teacher evals. StateImpact Florida writes about the new Gates study on the best way to identify the best teachers. SchoolZone notes it. Jay P. Greene rips it. District[Read More…]

Bill would expand voucher program for students with disabilities

A bill filed in the Florida Legislature this week could give the families of disabled students quicker access to McKay Scholarships, state-funded vouchers for private schools, and likely result in an expansion of the $151 million program. Senate Bill 172, sponsored by Sen. Miguel  Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, nixes[Read More…]