Advocates for high-quality public schools for all children suffered a setback this week when reports surfaced of a compromise between the Obama administration and Congressional leaders that would once again provide funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program in the FY2013 Financial Services Appropriations bill.
The Schott Foundation's Patrick St. John attended Netroots Nation to participate and report on education conversations at the conference.
Bloggers, activists, and policymakers converged on Providence, Rhode Island, last week to swap ideas, skills, and strategies to move the progressive movement forward.
Nothing involving vouchers, school choice and ALEC-drafted legislation is going to turn out well for students or our nation's education system. North Carolina is one of several states wrestling with legislation that would create a backdoor for corporations to fund scholarships (read: vouchers) through handpicked nonprofits. In North Carolina, the corporations could then receive tax credits to divert up to $40 million of their state taxes.
Put three rockstars of the education world in a room together and you get this fantastic panel from last week's Netroots Nation on the future of public education, the importance of community organizing and the path towards systemic education reform to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.
What with New Orleans's massive charter school experiment routinely being hailed by proponents of corporate-style education reform as the new model for urban education, its refreshing to see a media story that digs into the evidence on why those charters should not, in fact, be models of reform.
The passage of a new education "reform" bill in Louisiana has put the state at the forefront of marketplace education policy reform. The "Jindal Law," named for Gov. Bobby Jindal, will drastically expand the state's voucher program and the number of charter schools, will institute a parent trigger mechanism and will remove teacher tenure. In other words, the bill is bad news for public schools, equitable funding and quality teaching.
Vouchers – as well as state-sponsored tax-credit programs that support private schools – are not the answer to ensuring America’s children have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. These programs divert resources from public schools, affect a limited number of students and, most studies show, don’t improve children’s educational experiences.
Below are the key organizations to watch and listen to in the fight against vouchers and state-funded tax-credit programs.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
Below are organizations and studies documenting the harmful effects of vouchers on our nation's students and public school system: