Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Anticipation is building among school choice supporters for a Colorado court ruling that could create wide and deep ripples in the fabric of American K-12 education. On Dec. 10, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Taxpayers v. Douglas County Board of Education. The case’s third and decisive round of legal hearings will test whether an unprecedented local school choice program not only will survive, but also could multiply. The ruling could embolden other local Colorado boards of education to offer parents educational options outside the public system, and inspire policymakers hoping to expand choice in other states. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Arena…. … [Read more...]

Report Finds Denver’s ‘SchoolChoice’ System Improves Enrollment, More Focus Needed on Performance

Report Finds Denver’s ‘SchoolChoice’ System Improves Enrollment, More Focus Needed on Performance

Denver has made the process of choosing a school easier and more satisfying for many families. But a local advocacy group says the district needs to offer more quality schools for students to access. A new report released by the nonprofit citizens’ education reform group A+ Denver asks whether the Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) three-year-old universal enrollment system is working for families. The system has streamlined the application process to get into one of the district’s traditional neighborhood, magnet, or charter schools, and has matched large numbers with their stated preferences. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Arena…. … [Read more...]

Principal of Jay Bennish’s Overland High School Secures National Post

An interesting tidbit from Cherry Creek Schools:Jana Frieler, principal of Overland High School in the Cherry Creek School District since 2005, was voted president-elect of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) at the organization’s national conference in San Diego February 27, 2009. Frieler will lead the 30,000- member organization in 2010-2011. Frieler has been active in principal leadership through national-level committee work and service on the NASSP Board of Directors. Congrats to Jana Frieler on her new position. What's the big deal with this announcement, you say? You may remember Frieler as the principal who during her first year was thrown into the fire of national controversy over teacher Jay … [Read more...]

Talking Education with Amy Oliver Live on Air Tuesday at 10 AM

For anyone interested, I am scheduled to be live on the Amy Oliver radio show on 1310 KFKA this Tuesday at 10 AM local Mountain Time. The topics will include school choice, the Obama administration's education agenda, and the inimitable Washington DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. If you have a moment to spare, please tune in via your radio or the Internet. … [Read more...]

What I Want to See for the United States, Conservatism, and the GOP

Looking ahead to 2010 and beyond, this is what I want to see in the United States of America: A biblical, spiritual revival ... something for which I pray to God The revitalization of conservatism (a shared value in the Founders' "constrained vision") in American public life ... something of which I seek to persuade others A Republican Party more informed by conservative, limited government principles ... also something of which I seek to persuade others A governing Republican Party majority ...something for which I volunteer and vote Where incompatibilities between the above priorities can be proven with a reasonable degree of likelihood, the higher priority wins. (And no, I can't think of any situation where voting for or … [Read more...]

House Education Appointments Uninspiring: What Will Storyline Be?

Last week I pondered in a Denver Post op-ed what the effect might be of the statehouse Democrats elevating pro-public school choice Rep. Terrance Carroll to Speaker of the House:Carroll is set to appoint fellow Democrats to the House Education Committee. In recent years, the committee, largely stacked with handpicked union favorites, has killed or watered down many K-12 education bills deemed unacceptable by the union. CEA may lose some of its leverage to bottle up education reform in committee. Well, yesterday came the revelation of the House Education Committee assignments. Michael Merrifield retains the chair, with Judy Solano as the vice-chair. Overall, the membership of the committee appears to move scarcely a whit in the direction … [Read more...]

Terrance Carroll, Josh Penry: Good Choices for Statehouse Leadership

Colorado soon will have a black Speaker of the House to go along with a black Senate President (Peter Groff). The Denver Post reports today that the Democratic caucus in the state house has thrown its support behind Denver's Terrance Carroll to replace Andrew Romanoff in one of the state's highest political positions. Moving beyond race, Carroll is someone with whom I obviously have many political disagreements. However, on the issue of school choice that I care about deeply, he is as good as the Democratic caucus has to offer. I feel a little better about the hope for defending and advancing gains in educational freedom with him at the helm than with the alternatives. But we'll remain diligent at our post. In other news, Republicans … [Read more...]

Letting a Felon Back in the Classroom: An Instructive Example from Tennessee

Ken the Blue Collar Muse details an interesting story about a former Tennessee high school football coach, years after pleading guilty to racketeering charges and having his teaching license revoked, then lying about his past to get a teaching job in Michigan, has had his license to teach reinstated by the Tennessee Board of Education. Here's how Ken brings the story home:Lynn Lang should not be licensed to teach. Tennessee educators gave him a pass simply because a period of time had passed. Despite a felony conviction and deceiving Michigan’s Board, Tennessee says Lang is fit to teach in Tennessee. I’m still trying to find out if he is. Even if he’s not, the fact he could be is outrageous. He was banned from coaching for life. … [Read more...]

Harsanyi: Choice Key to Overcoming Union Obstacle to Dropout Problem

In today's Denver Post column, David Harsanyi brings attention to the new America's Promise Alliance (APA) report on the dropout "crisis." Knowing the report will fuel the cry for more money to solve the problem, Harsanyi explains:Teachers unions place culpability for education woes on a lack of funding and "cuts." This is a myth. Obviously, schools could always benefit from an infusion of cash but, in most of the failing systems, funding per pupil is at an all-time high. According to a study by the right-of-center Hoover Institution, in 1982 per-pupil spending was $5,930 and rose 60 percent by 2000 to $9,230 in inflation-adjusted dollars (in high-population districts, the number is far higher). In Utah, a recent school-reform … [Read more...]

Random Bits o’ Spitzer

Spent a few minutes surfing the Web, and found this collection of tidbits on New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, the frenzied media's scandal du jour. From the sublime to the ridiculous ... first, Mickey Kaus notes that a Spitzer resignation (unless he's brazen enough to stick it out) would put school choice supporter Lt. Governor David Paterson at the helm of the Empire State. That's good news. And on the lighter side, Scrapple Face's Scott Ott notes the chief clue that tipped off investigators to Spitzer's illicit behavior:A spokesman from the prosecutor’s office said, “Typically, when a Democrat Governor comes to the nation’s capital, he’s got his hat in hand and winds up leaving town with a bunch of money. The fact that Spitzer … [Read more...]