Friday, April 27, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good Shepherd Catholic School is helping kids

A new school for autistic children is a 'great fit' for Mercy hospital, and the Henry Scholarships are a key component of the school's success.

Homeschooling autistic children

A growing number of families with autistic kids are turning to homeschooling.

A better way to pay

Jason Richwine of The Heritage Foundation offers five rules for reforming teacher compensation.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

'Public schools to get voucher-created savings'

"Indiana public schools will divvy up $4.2 million in May, thanks in part to the state's private school voucher program," the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

Most private school students participating in the Choice Scholarship Program receive a voucher worth 90 percent of Indiana's per pupil funding for public school. State law requires the remaining 10 percent be paid to school corporations.

Among Northwest Indiana schools, Hammond will receive $60,297; Gary, $51,688; Crown Point, $27,025; Munster, $14,550; Portage Township, $32,078; Duneland, $21,701; and Valparaiso, $23,268.

State funds pay for nearly 4,000 students to attend private schools.

Teacher-union excesses 'more a symptom than a cause'

Our school-performance woes are not the union's fault, Andrew Coulson writes over at HuffPo. "It is the natural result of operating K-12 education as a fully state-funded monopoly."

[I]t is not an attack on government to observe that government is bad at running schools, anymore than it's an attack on shovels to note that they make lousy Web browsers. No single tool can do every job. Nor is it an attack on the ideals of public education to say that state monopolies are an ineffective way to pursue them. That's a confusion of ends and means. Public education is a not a particular pile of bricks or stack of regulations, it is a set of goals: universal access, preparation for participation in public life as well as success in private life, building harmony and understanding among communities.

If the true allegiance of reformist Democrats is to those ultimate ideals, then they should have no problem acknowledging that government monopolies are ill-suited to advancing them, and that teachers-union excesses are more a symptom than a cause of our monopoly-induced woes. Finding the best policies for advancing our educational ideals then becomes a practical, tractable problem. The participation of reformist Democrats in solving it will be a tremendous boon to the children they seek to help.

'School offers help and hope for OKC-area students with autism

Great story by Carla Hinton today in The Oklahoman.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dumping the Know-Nothing amendments

Former Boston mayor Raymond L. Flynn on church, state, and school reform.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cat fight

Girls at Douglass started fighting each other right before Jesse arrived for a visit.

Private-school entrepreneurs are serving slum-dwellers

Henry Scholarship program remains intact

As the appeals process continues.

Pat McGuigan and Stacy Martin have more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do you believe in miracles?

FOX 25's Kisha Henry says they're happening in Oklahoma City at a one-of-a-kind school for children with autism.

Parents say Henry Scholarships are important

12-year-old OKC student arrested for stabbing classmate

She wouldn't give her some M&M's.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Underfunded-schools watch

Stillwater Public Schools bought a shopping center for $4.3 million.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hispanic teacher

... supports school choice.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Homeschooling docs

Over at CNN, pediatrician Bethany M. Gardiner explains why she chose homeschooling, calling to mind the story of an Oklahoma City doc who did the same.

New online community discussing Henry Scholarships

There's a new Facebook page for parents, policymakers, and others interested in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program for Children with Disabilities.

'School vouchers gain ground'

"Louisiana is poised to establish the nation's most expansive system of school choice by adopting a package of vouchers and other tools that would give many parents control over the use of tax dollars to educate their children," Stephanie Banchero reports today on page A3 of The Wall Street Journal.

"The initiative would effectively redefine vouchers, which have typically helped lower-income public-school students pay for private schools. Vouchers could now also be used by students to pay for state-approved apprenticeships at local businesses, as well as college courses and private online classes, while they are still in public schools."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

'Public education failing and making excuses'

Bruce Smith of Edmond says enough is enough.

Will Oklahoma Supreme Court uphold special-needs scholarships?

Hats off to Kim Archer for an interesting story in the Tulsa World ('Legal experts expect Supreme Court to eventually uphold Henry law'). But unlike TU law professor Gary Allison, I believe that if the law survives it will be because it is in fact constitutional, not because the Court is reading the political winds.

Private schools are serving the poor

From Somalia to the Sooner State.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Can government workers give kids a Head Start?

No, they can't, says John Stossel.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Give parents preschool choices

In the latest issue of School Reform News, Ashley Bateman has an interesting story on early childhood education. She quotes Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum:

The problem is not getting children into childcare but to give families the means to keep a parent at home, or encourage a system where money follows the child. Put power in the hands of parents to choose programs that make sense for them rather than a one-size-fits-all government program. ...

The fallacy is that early childhood programs lead to better education outcomes, but unfortunately there’s very little evidence that holds true. And a lot of families make sacrifices to keep kids at home. The value a stay-at-home mom is providing is seen as less when you can put a kid in a building nine-to-five. If other people get subsidized daycare, government is picking one lifestyle choice over another.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Has the Atlanta cheating scandal reached Oklahoma?

Are the Tulsa, Owasso, Stillwater, and Choctaw/Nicoma Park school districts cheating on tests? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says these districts "had enough suspect tests that the odds of the results occurring by chance alone were worse than one in 1,000."

In addition, the newspaper says Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Edmond, Muskogee, Mustang, Norman, Oklahoma City, Sand Springs, Western Heights, and Yukon "certainly deserve further examination."

'The new face of public education'

Over at redefinED, Ron Matus writes:

[Rev. Manuel L. Sykes is] a Democrat. He’s president of the NAACP in St. Petersburg, Fla. He thinks public schools did a fine job with his kids.

Privatizing schools? Mention the idea to Sykes, who is pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church, and you’ll get a slow burn about elitism, resegregation and crony capitalism.

But Sykes, 55, also supports vouchers and tax credit scholarships. And for folks who think they see a contradiction, he offers a quip and a laugh: "Stereotyping is a function of a lazy mind."

Sykes isn’t a leader in the school choice movement, but like thousands of others he quietly defies the story line. In that respect, he is symbolic of the new face of public education. It’s not public or private. It’s not liberal or conservative. It’s pragmatic.

"You can’t plant roses in every environment," Sykes told redefinED. "You have to find the right environment for that flower. Or that orange tree. Or that apple tree. If we're wise enough to know that with trees, why don’t we have the same common sense with children?"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

'Is there such a thing as Christian education?'

Yes.

'Miraculous changes'

Lindsey's Law is helping children, as Cris Carter points out in an excellent letter to the editor today in The Oklahoman.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

'Home-school, private-school families win tax break'

The Associated Press reports that "proponents of helping parents send their children to private schools won approval Wednesday in the South Carolina House.

The bill would allow parents to take a $4,000 tax deduction per child for tuition paid, $2,000 for homeschool expenses and $1,000 per child who attends a public school outside the district where he or she lives. It would allow people to claim tax credits for donating to newly created nonprofits giving scholarships to poor and disabled students.

Religious bigotry and school choice

Ron Matus has an excellent post here.