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back to the future
February 12, 2018
Debora Scheffel wants to fill State Board of Education vacancy ‘as a matter of service’
A former State Board of Education member whose defeat in 2016 handed control of the board to Democrats could be on her way back.
February 6, 2018
More Denver schools to give preference to students from low-income families
The pilot program is an effort to better integrate the city’s schools at a time when gentrification is deepening economic divides.
February 2, 2018
Five ideas to help Denver students get to the schools they choose
With school choice underway in Denver, here's how a persistent local critic would improve what he calls the district's “antiquated transportation policies.”
pick a school
January 31, 2018
Denver’s school choice process starts Feb. 1. Here’s what’s different this year.
One big change: It's all online this year.
January 26, 2018
The Douglas County voucher case is finally over
Elections have consequences, and this week the Colorado Supreme Court delivered on one.
January 8, 2018
Vouchers have dominated Tennessee’s ed debate for years, but won’t in 2018. Here’s why — and what could come next.
Here are four explanations behind the dramatic shift — and a look at why the climate could change again next year.
December 8, 2017
How to pay for special education is a growing concern across Michigan
Currently, schools are required to provide students with special services and therapies but are only funded for a fraction of their expenses.
choice and competition
November 30, 2017
School choice, Jeffco style: District considering new school models, centralized enrollment
Jeffco Public Schools is moving toward more choice with proposals for new district-run school options and with plans for a centralized online school choice system.
November 30, 2017
DeVos calls America still ‘a nation at risk,’ cheers GOP tax plan
The nation's ed chief tells a summit gathering in Nashville that not much has changed since the landmark Reagan-era report indicting America’s public schools.
November 29, 2017
Betsy DeVos tours school during her first Tennessee visit as education chief
The secretary praised career-technical education at a traditional public school, but also put in a good word for vouchers in a state that has consistently eschewed them.
November 29, 2017
In a district aiming for integration, can New York City sway parents’ school choices?
New York City officials are hoping that an unused corner of a Lower East Side elementary school will help achieve what has long eluded this…
November 27, 2017
Jeb Bush, Betsy DeVos to rally education reformers this week at Nashville summit
The gathering of some 1,100 reform-minded players comes as efforts to reengineer education as a consumer choice have buoyed under the Trump administration.
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 become…
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 but…
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.
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