And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posts Tagged ‘school vouchers

» Kids Win: Colorado School Board Sets Students and Families Free with Voucher Program – Big Government.

YES!  There are still some intelligent men and women in politics in this country.  They won’t be found in Washington because except for a very small handful of newly elected Congress men in 2010 there simply isn’t a brain left in our federal government.  If we are to save ourselves and our nation and our very way of life it will have to be at the grass roots.  That is, if we have the time to do this. ( I heard on FOXNEWS this morning that Obama is planning to share our nuclear missile technology with Russia.)

 

We have turned our children over to what this School Board member in the video calls ‘special interests groups” but I am not so charitable because I call the leaders of our schools who are allowing the brain washing and dumbing down of education evil criminals.  After viewing the first videos please make sure to see the last one where the School Board is actually threatened by a union backed newly form group of  “mother, fathers, sisters, brothers, neighbors.” only concerned with the good of the children and absolutely nothing to do with union dues or tenure of incompetents.    BB

Kids Win: Colorado School Board Sets Students and Families Free with Voucher Program

by Kyle Olson

It’s not every day you will see a governmental body, in this case a school board, create competition for itself.  But that’s precisely what the Douglas County, Colorado school board did.

It created a unique, if not unprecedented, voucher program, allowing tax dollars to follow Douglas County students to the school of their choice.

Every single school system in America should adopt this model.  Sadly, parents who need school choice the most tend to live in troubled urban school districts that fight to keep children trapped within geographic boundaries.

But in Douglas County, leaders understand students have a right to the education of their choice, even if it is not within the public system.

John Carson, president of the school board, said recently at a National School Choice Week event celebrating the move: “We all realize that we’ve made two big mistakes in public education.  There’s no choice – or limited choice – there’s not enough competition, and we’ve ceded so much of our children’s education to special interest groups.  And that needs to end.”

Bravo.  If only we had more governmental leaders like Carson, just imagine the improved impression that Americans would have of public education today.

See EAGtv’s coverage of the program here.

Dr. Elizabeth Carson, the district superintendentm said, “We know when we match students to opportunities to learn that are most appropriate for their strengths and interests, we know that they’re going to be more successful.

“ And when we try to do this sort of batch processing model where we take all of these children according to their date of birth and put them through a process – a one-size-fits-all process – we know there are going to be fewer successes.  We want to make sure that parents have the ultimate choice in making sure that their child is matched with their learning environment.”

Parents and community leaders should demand that every single school district follow in the footsteps of Douglas County and be willing to let kids off the assembly line so they can find the school that best fits their needs.

The changes didn’t come easy and there is a big fight ahead to change teachers pay to excellence based and get rid of the dead wood tenured unionist  baloney.  BB

If you want to see more of what went on with the School Board’s decision to make parents responsible for and in charge of their children’s education check out the  other videos. BB

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National Curriculum Battle Joined | Cato @ Liberty.

The Progressives are pushing hard for their take over of our schools and our children’s minds.   Education of children is rightly a  parents  duty and right.  This is why education MUST BE LOCAL!  When the Texas Text Book Selection committee outed the Progressives in determining what  content  would be in Texas text books it was a loud and clear call for the Progressives to become more aggressive (read this: underhanded!). (You may want to look this battle up because the video was a fun watch as the Progressives finally just left the meeting.)

The following article gives background on what is happening now and some push back.    Be sure to read carefully the Related Articles also.  these are your kids and our future.  Please don’t allow them to be lot any more than they have already been compromised and brain-washed.   It is up to ALL parents to demand the right to choose the schools their children attend and not to be herded into what the bureaucracy either national or local dictates to us.   School choice and vouchers are the answer to a free and good education.  BB

National Curriculum Battle Joined

Posted by Neal McCluskey

Remember several weeks ago, when the Albert Shanker Institute released a manifesto calling for the creation of detailed curriculum guides to go with the national standards and tests being pushed and pulled through the back doors of states across the country? Apparently, that was the last straw for a lot of education analysts and policymakers, especially folks like Williamson Evers of the Hoover Institution (and Bush II Education Department); one-time Fordham Institute state-standards evaluator Sandra Stotsky; and Foundation for Education Choice senior fellow Greg Forster. Those three, along with a few others, organized a counter-manifesto being released today, a 100-plus signatory reply which, according to the group’s press release, declares that:

  • These efforts are against federal law and undermine the constitutional balance between national and state authority.
  • The evidence doesn’t show a need for national curriculum or a national test for all students.
  • U.S. Department of Education is basing its initiative on inadequate content standards.
  • There is no research-based consensus on what is the best curricular approach to each subject.
  • There is not even consensus on whether a single “best curricular approach” for all students exists.

These points certainly sum up many of the major problems with the national standards drive, a drive that has been shrouded in half-truths about “voluntary” standards adoption; shorthand pleas for federal coercion; and what appears to be a camel’s-nose-under-the-tent strategy to ultimately impose a detailed, de facto federal curriculum. There is more to the problem than the summary points above cover — for instance, the Constitution gives the federal government no authority whatsoever to meddle in school curricula — but for a consensus-driven document, this new and desperately needed cannon blast against national standards is very welcome.

For a great explanation of why the anti-manifesto ringleaders did what they did, check out Greg Forster’s entry on the Witherspoon Institute’s blog. He hits lots of important points — especially that nationalizing curricula is a surefire way to fuel all-encompassing social strife — and I would quibble with only one thing:

My own view is that the root of the problem is the government monopoly on schools. Governmental monopolization of the education of children guarantees that all our religious and moral differences will be constantly politicized. School choice, in addition to delivering better academic performance, seems to me to be the only way to end the scorpions-in-a-bottle cultural dynamic and create space for shared citizenship across diverse religious and moral views.

But that’s an argument for another day.

Here’s where I think Greg is incorrect: Choice is not an argument for another day. It is the argument for this day.

Until all parents have real, full choice they will have no option but to demand that higher levels of government force intractable lower levels to provide good education. It won’t work thanks to concentrated benefits and diffuse costs all levels of government are dominated by teachers’ unions and administrators’ associations that will never let tough accountability and high standards rein – but it is all that parents can do absent the ability to take their children, and tax dollars, somewhere else. That means choice is essential right now, because it is the only way to take power away from special-interest dominated government and give it to the people the schools are supposed to serve. In other words, it is the only option that will actually work, obliterating the special-interest hammerlock, imposing accountability to customers, and when coupled with freedom for educators unleashing competition, specialization, innovation, and constant upward pressure on standards. In other words, it will do all those things that national standardizers emptily and illogically promise that their reform will do, and much, much more.

Reducing the Achievement Gap – Matthew Ladner & Lindsey Burke – National Review Online.

All it took was some good old common sense by Governor Jeb Bush to bring the reading scores of minority students up  in just a few years.  And neither did it take any fancy programs like “Midnight Basketball”.  Learning is what children so best and naturally if we adults and the governing bodies would get out of the way and let it happen by setting up the right environment and adding a tad of expectation of success.  BB

How did Florida do it? Florida’s success has resulted from the commonsense reforms that were implemented during Jeb Bush’s tenure as governor.

One of the key reforms involved increasing parental control in education. Florida families enjoy more educational options than those in any other state. Florida lawmakers have created one of the nation’s strongest charter-school laws, a voucher program for special-needs students, and the nation’s largest tax-credit program. Florida also leads the nation in online education options.

Florida also implemented rigorous state standards and assessments, testing students annually from third grade through tenth in reading and math. Policymakers have periodically raised their standards, and students have demonstrated that they can reach tougher goals.  (expectation of success!  BB)

Among the most commonsense reforms was a move to revamp the school-grading system. Prior to the reforms, the state graded schools on a one-to-five scale; for parents, however, it was unclear whether it was better for their child to be in a school that scored a one or a five. The reforms moved schools to an A-to-F scale, which parents intuitively understood. The grades also create significant media buzz when scores are released each spring, adding an additional layer of accountability to the system. (With the allowance of family choices failing schools were at risk of losing students and therefore losing jobs so teachers  reformed their thinking and methods of teaching to those that had proven effective.   Old ways die hard but threaten the wallet and adults get the message! BB)

Florida also implemented alternative teacher certification and a limited pay-for-performance program and, importantly, ended social promotion. If Johnny cannot read in third grade, he will no longer automatically advance to fourth grade. He will retake third grade with extra help. (Social promotion was the dumbest idea to ever be used in elementary school!  If Johnny is the dumbest kid in the class his peers know it and his social standing certainly suffers, so why not keep him back until he can function with his peers?  Or, if necessary put the child in a special class where he will get the help he needs?  BB)

Florida’s reforms took the basic ideas of No Child Left Behind — academic transparency and accountability to parents — and made them work. Florida’s policymakers created a much stronger dose of this medicine than NCLB did. Florida’s minority students began outscoring statewide averages while, nationwide, minority test scores continue to disappoint.  (I as an educator liked  No Child Left Behind.  Teachers complained that they were “teaching to the tests” which is nothing but an absurd cop out!  The test is merely a gauge of what the student should have achieved during that school term so if a teacher was indeed teaching the material then of course they must perforce have been “teaching to the test”.  These stupid clichés that get started and make no sense but people keep repeating them and no one bothers to understand really what is being said.  BB)

You gotta read this story people! BB

Educational Reductionism — By: John Derbyshire



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