Education news. In context.
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Coming to Tennessee
November 10, 2017
Betsy DeVos to address Jeb Bush’s education summit in Nashville
The visit will mark DeVos’s first to Tennessee since the Michigan billionaire became President Donald Trump’s secretary of education in February.
November 9, 2017
What I learned about the limits of school choice in New York City from a mother whose child uses a wheelchair
A researcher interviewed a mother who found that "school choice" can ring hollow for parents whose children are differently abled.
October 31, 2017
As students signed up, online school hired barely any teachers — but founder’s company charged it millions
The state has set aside more than $62 million over the next two years to keep the school in business.
school choice or peer choice?
October 11, 2017
A school choice quandary: parents care more about who attends a school than about its quality, in NYC study
A basic tenet of school choice is that families will choose the highest-quality school they can. Now a new study raises questions about this basic premise.
battle for students
September 29, 2017
Memphis district robo call tells parents to opt out of data sharing: “We do not want to lose any students to charter schools”
As Memphis parents decide whether to share their children’s information with charters, Shelby County Schools is ramping up its efforts to get them to say no.
September 27, 2017
Florida’s tax credit voucher program helps get students to — but not necessarily through — college, study finds
Students in the country’s largest private school choice program were more likely to attend college than similar students who remained in public school
September 22, 2017
McQueen’s deadline looms for Memphis and Nashville to share student info with charter schools — and no one is budging
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said potential consequences will be determined Monday. Past state action suggests funding cuts could be on the table.
pick a school
September 19, 2017
Denver Public Schools making changes to choice process meant to benefit low-income parents
One change: The district plans to roll out a new, mobile-friendly school information website.
September 14, 2017
Betsy DeVos laments death of Memphis civil rights leader Dwight Montgomery
The local president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was one of few prominent black civil rights leaders to back the divisive education chief.
September 11, 2017
Parents: Here’s your chance to offer feedback on the race to get into Memphis’ most popular public schools
The optional school application process — which is academically selective and done on a first come, first serve basis — has long been a source of criticism.
choice for most
August 10, 2017
Choice for most: In nation’s largest voucher program, $16 million went to schools with anti-LGBT policies
One in 10 of Indiana’s voucher schools publicly shares a policy suggesting or declaring that LGBT students are not welcome.
July 18, 2017
What’s ALEC? Ahead of Betsy DeVos’s speech, here’s which states earn the group’s education policy praise
Only Florida, Arizona and Indiana received a B+ on ALEC’s 2016 Report Card on American Education.
Decisions & Choices
June 26, 2017
Douglas County voucher supporters encouraged by Supreme Court decision in similar case
Opponents to the Douglas County voucher program saw something to like in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision too.
BARRIERS TO ACCESS
June 21, 2017
Public transportation won’t solve Denver’s school choice woes, study finds
Only 58 percent of students could get to a top-rated middle or high school in 30 minutes or less by public transit.
June 19, 2017
I think traditional public schools are the backbone of democracy. My child attends a charter school. Let’s talk.
The dialogue around school choice in Nashville doesn’t often include much nuance — or many voices of parents like me.
the evolution of research
June 15, 2017
Beyond the test score horse race: 5 big questions researchers are asking about charter schools
Here are a few of the big questions that some charter schools researchers are examining — and other important questions that have received little attention.
vying for vouchers
May 23, 2017
On Betsy DeVos’s budget wish list: $250M to ‘build the evidence base’ for vouchers
The funding boost aimed at justifying private-school choice programs is one way DeVos is delivering on years of advocacy for those programs.
May 23, 2017
DeVos said rejecting choice plan would be a ‘terrible mistake.’ New York education advocates have a different take
At a discussion of school choice in New York City Tuesday morning, panelists seemed unfazed by Betsy DeVos's comments about school choice.
May 22, 2017
Betsy DeVos promises an expansive school choice plan, says opting out would be ‘terrible mistake’ for states
The U.S. education secretary offered few details about the plan, which she said would be voluntary for states.
barriers to entry
May 16, 2017
Chancellor: ‘We’re reconsidering how some enrollment is done’ in high schools
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña hinted during a City Council hearing Tuesday that changes to the high school admissions process might be in the works.
May 10, 2017
Study: Private dollars give Memphis charter schools edge in per-pupil funding
A new report from the University of Arkansas says charter schools in Memphis are bucking a national funding trend, thanks mostly to philanthropic support.
May 8, 2017
My neighbors told the New York Times that going to our local school is ‘malpractice.’ We picked it anyway
In the latest How We Got Here story, a New York City mom recounts her family's path to their neighborhood school, which many other middle-class white families spurn.
May 2, 2017
Before voucher legislation comes back in 2018, Tennessee lawmakers want a plan to determine whether vouchers work
Lawmakers who backed a proposal for a Memphis pilot program hope to clear up questions about what kind of tests students who accept vouchers should take.
April 27, 2017
Matt Damon’s latest role: The voice of an education documentary featuring Tennessee testing
Called “Backpack Full of Cash,” the 90-minute film features a Nashville elementary school and school board member Amy Frogge.
April 26, 2017
Plan for school vouchers in Tennessee on hold again, despite national momentum
Rep. Harry Brooks, the bill's House sponsor, pushed his proposal for a five-year Memphis pilot program until 2018, an anticlimactic ending after months of debate.
Doing the math
April 25, 2017
As lawmakers scrutinize the price tag of school vouchers in Memphis, here’s a cost breakdown
The estimated price tag for Shelby County Schools is about $18 million a year, but the true cost could be far more — or less.
April 12, 2017
House panel advances Memphis school voucher bill with no recommendation
After a three-week stall, a proposal to create a school voucher program in Memphis is on the move again.
April 5, 2017
Tennessee voucher bill stalls as lawmakers strip TNReady testing requirement
After sailing through several legislative panels, a school voucher bill stalls in a House committee for a second straight week.
April 4, 2017
Amended bill could add 13,000 students to Tennessee’s first foray into vouchers
A bill that originally had nothing to do with school vouchers now could reallocate tens of thousands of public dollars to private services for special-needs students.
March 30, 2017
For the first time, Tennessee school voucher advocates are pushing for TNReady in private schools. Here’s why.
If Tennessee private schools want to take advantage of public money that could soon be flowing their way, they might have to…
March 29, 2017
Some Catholic schools may shun Memphis voucher program over TNReady
A lobbyist for the Tennessee Catholic Public Policy Commission testifies in front of a House committee considering school vouchers.
devos on denver
March 29, 2017
Weeks after DeVos praises school choice efforts in Denver, she slams the city as offering ‘accessibility without choices’
“The benefits of making choices accessible are canceled out when you don’t have a full menu of options,” DeVos said, pointing to New Orleans as a better example.
And then there was one
March 22, 2017
This year’s list of school voucher bills just got shorter in Tennessee
Tennessee lawmakers advocating for school vouchers are now rallying behind a single bill, a Memphis pilot program.
Riding the Success Express
March 21, 2017
How limited transportation undermines school choice — even in Denver, where an innovative shuttle system has drawn Betsy DeVos’s praise
Six years after Denver Public Schools created an innovative bus shuttle system to help get students to school, the effort has expanded and evolved…
March 21, 2017
Memphis voucher pilot plan clears first full House committee
After a fierce, two-hour debate largely between Memphis-area lawmakers, the bill passes 8-5 in a House education committee.
March 20, 2017
Tennessee’s leading voucher bill is aimed at Memphis, where most elected officials are on the record against it
The proposal has momentum despite opposition from Shelby County's Board of Commissioners, most of its legislative delegation, and numerous school boards.
By the numbers
March 16, 2017
$1.4 billion for school choice, AmeriCorps cuts, and other details from Trump’s first budget proposal
Trump wants to kickstart his plan to boost school choice with $1.4 billion for charter schools, private schools, and funds designed to follow students.
March 15, 2017
Trump mum about his school choice plan as he prepares to release his budget
While some reports said the president would highlight school choice at a Nashville rally, he gave only brief billing to the topic at the conclusion of his speech.
March 15, 2017
Before Trump speaks in Nashville, here are five things to know about school choice in Tennessee
Tennessee is a battleground state in the debate over school tuition vouchers, and has seen steady growth in its charter school sector since 2003.
March 14, 2017
Lawmakers puzzle over how to expand vouchers for students with disabilities without hurting local schools
When it comes to students who have never attended public schools, even lawmakers who support vouchers are reticent to give them state funding for private services.
March 13, 2017
The voucher bill tailor-made for Memphis? Many Memphians are offended by it.
The strongest voices against Tennessee’s leading school voucher proposal are coming from the very community it’s supposed to help.
March 10, 2017
Denver Public Schools heralds high participation, match rates in choice process for 2017-18
Data from this year's school choice in Denver Public Schools showed the participation rates and match rates to students top choice were about the same as last year.
March 9, 2017
Here’s what you need to know about Tennessee’s latest voucher proposal
Here are answers to questions from some of our readers about a new proposal to pilot tuition vouchers in Memphis.
March 8, 2017
Tuition voucher bill targeting Memphis breezes through key Senate committee
With seven of nine Senate committee members co-sponsoring the bill, the issue was all but decided before discussion even began.
March 7, 2017
Tennessee’s voucher proposals target schools already struggling with low enrollment
Public schools in Memphis stand to experience most of the fallout if state lawmakers decide to approve voucher legislation this year.
March 2, 2017
Are charter schools overrated? Four debaters squared off to answer that question
The latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate tackled the issue of charter schools.
February 28, 2017
Echoing Bush and Obama, Trump calls education ‘the civil rights issue of our time’ — and asks for a school choice bill
The line inserted a bit of boilerplate — and bipartisan — education reform-speak into his first address to a joint session of Congress.
TN in DC
February 2, 2017
Tennessee school board leaders met this week with Sen. Lamar Alexander. Here’s what they talked about.
Three issues shaping Tennessee public education get the ear of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander as representatives of the state's school boards association travel to D.C.
January 23, 2017
Gearing up for Tennessee’s voucher fight? Here are eight stories to read.
This will mark Tennessee’s seventh year of legislative debate over vouchers.
pick a school
January 5, 2017
As Denver’s school choice process opens, which schools are the most – and least – popular?
Last year, more incoming 9th graders listed East High School as their first choice than any other high school in the city.
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