Parental Choice

Through the choices they make, students help all schools to innovate and improve

Last week, I wrote that two Florida school choice programs, the McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income students, help increase student achievement by providing competition. To support my assertion, I cited research by Northwestern University researchers David Figlio and Cassandra M.D. Hart,[Read More…]

What school choice contributes to systemic improvements in education: A spotlight on Florida

I’ve spent the previous two days discussing accomplishments in Jeb Bush’s tenure as Florida’s governor while highlighting that, despite Bush’s forceful leadership and insistence that high-poverty, minority children would succeed, the state has failed to implement all the systemic improvements the governor envisioned. But one significant change that did occur during[Read More…]

Reject the failing schools model of choice. It does nothing but divide.

For several months, the political leadership of Pennsylvania has shown increasing bipartisan support for school choice, particularly for scholarships that provide private learning options for low-income students. That trend continued Tuesday when Democratic Senator Anthony Williams and Republican Jeffrey Piccola released the details of a plan that would give public[Read More…]

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.”

Are choices in education really less palatable than choices in medicine?

There aren’t many people in the mainstream who would quibble with Scott’s call to allow families of limited financial means equal opportunities to choose the right doctor and to make decisions in consultation with those doctors. But the governor raises a contradiction that school choice opponents seldom address. Why is it appropriate for parents to choose their children’s doctors but not their children’s schools or teachers?

New Orleans, defining public education anew — through choice

Brian Dassler, principal of the KIPP Renaissance High School in New Orleans, and David R. Colburn, who served as provost from UF from 2000 to 2005 and now runs the university’s Ruben Askew Institute on Politics and Society, note that states and school systems would do well to study the ingredients that lifted the city’s public schools. Central to that success, the pair argues: The school system “provided real choice to all families regardless of their financial means. What had been a luxury afforded only to higher-income families in the past is now available to every parent in the city.”