Posts Tagged ‘public schools’
July 14th, 2014 at 4:42 pm
Illegal Immigration Cleanup Falls on Public Schools

“All politics is local,” goes the saying, and it looks like local public school districts will be the political entities dealing most directly with the surge in illegal immigration when classes begin.

“While politicians spend the summer fighting over how to turn back the tide, school leaders across the country are struggling to absorb a new student population the size of Newark, New Jersey,” reports the Chicago Tribune. “More than 40,000 children, many of them fresh from violent, harrowing journeys, have been released since October to stateside relatives as courts process their cases.”

The issues facing public school personnel include lack of immunizations, emotional distress caused by the trip north and an expected surge in non-English speaking students. The money and manpower required to meet these challenges is immense, but at least as far as local schools are concerned, also worthwhile. No one wants to perpetuate the trauma caused to the children who survive this experience.

It’s important to remember that each child is a person deserving of care and assistance, and one hopes that public officials will work with civil society organizations – including faith-based groups – to help each child heal.

That said, the fallout from the Obama administration’s deliberately poor management of the southern border is a profound object lesson in avoidable tragedy. As usual, the cleanup effort will be done by those that can least afford it.

August 23rd, 2013 at 9:56 am
Education: A Nation at Continuing Risk
Posted by Print

Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow and Senior Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, discusses why 30 years after President Reagan’s groundbreaking report, “A Nation at Risk,” America’s education system continues to fail and the role unions have played in the demise of public education.

Listen to the interview here.

May 23rd, 2011 at 5:27 pm
Tennessee Leads the Way on Education Reform
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Three cheers today for my (intermittent) home state of Tennessee, which has just passed a package of education reforms that should be held up as national models:

Cheer # 1 — The Volunteer State is doing away with tenure-based layoffs, in which teachers who’ve been on the job the longest are insulated from dismissal regardless of job performance.

Cheer # 2 — Tennessee is abolishing the cap on public charter schools, institutions that are controlled by the government but given much greater administrative flexibility than traditional public schools. This will allow for much broader educational competition — a move that will create more opportunities for children trapped in failing institutions.

Cheer # 3 — The state is also creating universal access to charters. Previous iterations of the policy had restricted which students were eligible to attend the schools.

With these reforms, the state of Tennessee has shown that it understands the most important principle of public education: the needs of the students come before those of bureaucrats and public employees. We salute their courage and look forward to the results.

September 24th, 2009 at 10:09 am
“We Have To Perform Well, Or We Lose Our Charter”
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“We have to perform well, or we lose our charter.  It makes us step up our game.”

Those are the words of Stacey Gauthier, principal of a New York City charter school, explaining why charter schools have so significantly outperformed public schools in a study released this week

The study, by economics Professor Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University, demonstrates that poorer, inner-city students who spent their elementary school years in charter schools excelled compared to counterpart students in New York’s public system.  Remarkably, these charter students’ achievement scores even matched those of more affluent suburban students. 

The reason that Professor Hoxby’s study is particularly enlightening is that critics of charter schools and vouchers typically argue that their students are somehow selected from “the cream of the crop.” According to these apologists for public teachers’ unions, more ambitious students and families are the ones who selectively gravitate to charters.  But Professor Hoxby compared only students who were similarly-motivated: those who actually attend charters versus students who were motivated to seek entry to charters but were denied random lottery applications to do so.

Imagine how much public schools could improve if faced with the choice described by Principal Gauthier – perform well or lose your charter.