Thursday, October 1, 2015

The high-regulation approach to school choice

In a series of blog posts, Professor Jay Greene will discuss why he thinks this approach is mistaken.

Latinos want to talk about education more than immigration

Seven out of 10 Latinos support some of type of school choice, Julio Fuentes writes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Educational choice is a pro-family policy

"At the root of our education debates is a debate about the family," Greg Forster writes in the October issue of Perspective.
The government school monopoly is one of the most important factors undermining the family unit; universal school choice would be a big step toward strengthening it. 
I encourage you to read the entire article here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Norman adds trauma counselors to high school staffs

The Oklahoman has the story.

OKC teacher says she fears for her safety

"A middle school counselor in the Oklahoma City district says she fears for her safety and that of teachers after a student who tried to hit her with a pole was suspended for only two days," Tim Willert reports in The Oklahoman.
Meanwhile, a veteran teacher who recently resigned says student conduct at Upper Greystone Elementary School is "worse than ever" because the district is reluctant to issue suspensions. 
"When students know they can do anything they want and not be suspended they're going to do it," the ex-teacher said. "We can't fault them for that because kids need parameters and guidance and consequences. I think it's very difficult for them to receive that given the current circumstances at Upper Greystone." 
The counselor, Regina Sims, said the incident occurred Wednesday when she was left alone with the boy, who she characterized as violent, in the office of Roosevelt Middle School Principal David Clark. She said Clark had just left to attend to another matter when Sims said the boy swung the metal pole at her. 
"To be honest, I was left in an unsafe situation," she said. "I don't want to go back to Roosevelt because what happened to me is very unsettling." 
In the other case, the former teacher, who requested anonymity because of fear of retribution, said several Upper Greystone teachers have resigned since school started Aug. 3. 
"The class sizes are very large and the behavior is the worst I've ever seen," the ex-teacher said. "There are some people who have worked there a lot longer than (I did) who feel very hopeless and helpless." 
The district said two teachers have resigned from Upper Greystone since the first day of school. The former teacher, who has since changed professions, accused Superintendent Rob Neu of "bullying principals into lowering suspension rates." 
"The kids know there are no ramifications for their behavior," the ex-teacher said. 
Oklahoma City Public Schools spokesman Mark Myers said the allegation made by the ex-teacher "is false."
You can read the entire article here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Oklahoma teacher allegedly calls being left-handed 'evil' and 'sinister'

Does this teacher deserve to benefit from an across-the-board pay raise?

Trump: Public school monopoly should 'set off antitrust alarm bells'

Photo credit: Albert H. Teich /

In his book The America We Deserve (Renaissance Books, 2000), Donald Trump made some excellent points about parental choice in education (HT: Shane Vander Hart):
Our public schools have grown up in a competition-free zone, surrounded by a very high union wall. Why aren’t we shocked at the results? After all, teachers’ unions are motivated by the same desires that move the rest of us. With more than 85 percent of their soft-money donations going to Democrats, teachers’ unions know they can count on the politician they back to take a strong stand against school choice. 
Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition—open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. 
Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition—the American way. ... 
Defenders of the status quo insist that parental choice means the end of public schools. Let’s look at the facts. Right now, nine of 10 children attend public schools. If you look at public education as a business—and with nearly $300 billion spent each year on K-through-12 education, it’s a very big business indeed—it would set off every antitrust alarm bell at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. When teachers’ unions say even the most minuscule program allowing school choice is a mortal threat, they’re saying: If we aren’t allowed to keep 90 percent of the market, we can’t survive. When Bell Telephone had 90 percent of the market, a federal judge broke it up. 
Who’s better off? The kids who use vouchers to go to the school of their choice, or the ones who choose to stay in public school? All of them. That’s the way it works in a competitive system.

Correcting misinformation on school choice

Martin F. Lueken does some mythbusting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Republicans embrace parental choice in education

Ronald Reagan supported school choice. So do GOP presidential candidates Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, John Kasich, and Rick Santorum. 

Other choice supporters include Senator James Lankford, Congressman Steve Russell, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Attorney General Scott Pruitt, and more:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Students are the new inmates in the American police state

"In the American police state," attorney John W. Whitehead writes, "you’re either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.)."
Microcosms of the police state, America’s public schools contain almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the “outside.” 
From the moment a child enters one of the nation’s 98,000 public schools to the moment she graduates, she will be exposed to a steady diet of draconian zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior, overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize speech, school resource officers (police) tasked with disciplining and/or arresting so-called “disorderly” students, standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers over critical thinking, politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around them, and extensive biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom of thought, speech or movement. 
If your child is fortunate enough to survive his encounter with the public schools, you should count yourself fortunate.