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A banner year for education reform

May 20, 2011 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at 07:11 AM

I've written about this before, but the tectonic plate shifts in American education policy are so remarkable that I'll risk boring you with yet another posting on what is happening south of the border. The changes are nothing short of revolutionary, as summed up in this article in the "Education Gadfly Weekly". 

Charter Schools: More than one million students are now enrolled in charter schools in 40 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In New Orleans, almost three-quarters of students are enrolled in charter schools. 

Collective Bargaining:  Over 700 bills reducing teachers' collective bargaining rights have been introduced in state legislatures so far this year. The vast majority of them have either already passed or seem likely to pass.

School Choice: At least 51 pieces of school choice legislation have been introduced so far this year, spanning 35 states and the District of Columbia. Every passing week brings news of at least one new victory for school choice proponents.

Teacher Evaluation: Many states have already tied teacher evaluation to student performance, and a few are flirting with merit pay.

Public Opinion: Recent polls show a stunning shift in public opinion towards support for all of these initiatives, especially school choice. It appears that, once the public gets a taste of educational freedom, it likes it.

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Regarding your last comment, ‘It appears that, once the public gets a tast of educational freedom, it likes it.” resonates with me.  I loved choosing the best schools for my children in Tokyo and Singapore.  When schools compete, they’re very strong academically, orderly, and learning disabilities and bullying are non-existent.  I know the educrats are going to get angry with my comments and say that it’s because the schools my children went to in Asia could choose students, however all children went to school.  Their next arguement will be that it was because there were no poor families.  Poorer families don’t have lower IQ’s.  In the private sector you don’t make excuses:  you fix the problems. 
Charter schools won’t do better right away, as NA hasn’t seen good schools in many decades, and Alberta is a prime example—talking a good game, but showing film footage of teenagers learning fractions (and from the coloured paper teaching method it was obvious that the kids didn’t have a clue about fractions).  For viewers from outside of NA their reaction to the film would have been shock to say the least; yet the Alberta teachers thought well enough of it to broadcast what many would consider their utter failure in teaching math!
Bottom line—competition improves over time quality and cost efficiency.  Thank goodness, for the sake of the children, that NA is coming out of its extreme left-wing thinking about government run monopolies grin

Posted by Bev on 05/20 at 08:54 AM

looking forward to a banner year in education reform in Ontario one day:-0

Posted by Chuck on 05/22 at 11:41 AM

So am I, Chuck, but I’m not hanging by my thumbs grin

Posted by Bev on 05/22 at 06:13 PM

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