Confused about Voucher Lawsuits?

frog-48234_1280Florida has 3 voucher lawsuits:  Fasse et al vs. Scott et al, McCall et al vs. Scott et al, and Citizens for Strong Schools.  They all oppose Florida Tax Credit Scholarships (FTC)  to private schools.  Faase et al was just thrown out yesterday.  The other two remain in court.  The Florida League of Women Voters is a plaintiff in McCall vs. Scott.

The money is significant; it now amounts to over $900 million in FTC scholarships.  Which companies provide the money? Want to know more?

 

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One of Two Florida Voucher Lawsuits Thrown Out

One of the two Florida voucher lawsuits was thrown out today by Judge Charles Francis.  Faase et al vs. Scott et al was dismissed once before and then refiled.  The new version was deemed to be legally insufficient to sustain a finding of ‘special injury’.  This complaint was based on SB850 which was alleged to have been passed by the legislature using ‘log rolling’ strategies to combine bills to expand the tax credit scholarships and create new accounts for students with disabilities.  Click the LAWSUITS banner on the Home Page of this blog for more information.

Call to Action: Respond to the USDOE Proposal to use VAM Scores for Colleges of Education

standardized_testIf you want to have input on the USDOE proposal to rate colleges of education on the basis of their graduates’ VAM teaching evaluations, heed Diane Ravitch’s call to action.  The USDOE is seeking input until January 2, 2015.

 

Click on the following link to see how to respond to the USDOE proposal.  Note that the US LWV has no formal position, so please respond as an individual, not on behalf of the League.  See the following article for more information.

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East Nashville in Turmoil

nashvilleby Anne-Marie Farmer, LWV Nashville

Nashville Superintendent Register announced a proposal to restructure East Nashville schools making some into charters and rezoning the entire area.  It is difficult to believe that the takeover of schools was announced with no input from parents.  An uproar ensued.  Some negotiation has occurred.

If you do not know about the KIPP charter school management company, read our post: Conflict or Collaboration.  The LWV Voter article follows.

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A Christmas Gift

education-390764_1280A Leaguer knows that consistently sharing information has an impact.  Nevertheless, it is reassuring to find evidence that people are listening, reading, and thinking about issues we believe are important.  Today the Editor of the Gainesville Sun described his Education on School Reforms.  He cites his sources and includes our work.  See how he puts together the issues.

The New Year is approaching.  Make a resolution to regularly get the message out.  Some one will be listening who can help.

Collaboration or Conflict?

 

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District-charter school collaborations are the new buzz words.  Like many slogans, it sounds reasonable on the surface.  Twenty-one projects were launched by the U.S. Department of Education as an exemplary collaboration competition in 2012.  An interim report by a Washington state based research institute reported, however, that only four of the 21 projects had even limited success.  Now, the State of Florida is initiating its own project to entice high achieving charter management companies to collaborate with district schools in Florida.

In this post, we review the Center for Reinventing Public Education’s Interim Report District-Charter Collaboration Compact. What is supposed to be mutually beneficial?  What do high quality charter management firms have to offer school districts?

‘High quality’ charter management companies are those that Florida hopes will open schools in major cities.  Their approaches to teaching and learning are distinctive.  Demographic and student retention data from these companies must be closely studied.  We have found some interesting data.Continue reading

Education for Sale

textbooksby Jean Schiffbauer

In tumultuous times, is it possible to define the ‘public interest’ as something more than a compilation of private and powerful commercial concerns?  When schools are public in name only, do we the public even know what is being taught or how?  We will run a series of posts on curriculum issues facing our schools.  Here is our first post by a long time curriculum specialist at a K-12 laboratory school.Continue reading

Sweeping the Money Under the Rug?

Remember the post on  Profit Trumps Public Interest?  It was the one the National Council of State Legislatures put out on for-profit education management companies.  We discovered that National Heritage Academies had some serious problems.   Propublica published a follow-up article on the for-profit National Heritage Academies.

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Where Does the Money Go?

The Michigan State Board of Education has now asked the legislature to outlaw “sweep contracts” to for-profit companies, but the legislator did not listen.   Continue reading

LWV Education Position: Greater Las Cruces New Mexico

by Bonnie Burn

Bonnie Burn is the past president of LWV of Greater Las Cruces, the leader of their Education Study, author of many of the education reports on www.lwvglc.org website, and architect of the position in its various versions.  LWVNM will be considering adopting the position through concurrence at the January board meeting.

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Time to Enjoy and Reflect on the Coming Year

This time of the year can make us feel we must run just to keep up with all that needs to be done.  On the other hand, we can decide to slow down and enjoy the celebrations.  I like these ‘enjoy the moment’ times and will not be posting much for the next week or so.

It will be useful to mull over what is the best use of our blog this next year.  The changes in Congress will have an impact on education policy.  No doubt states will have more control over how federal funds are spent and how accountable they will need to be.  School choice programs will continue and perhaps escalate.  Testing is likely to continue, but in what form? The debate over whether choice promotes quality will continue.  Stay tuned….send your ideas on how to communicate the issues clearly, concisely, and fairly.

Remember to click the title of the post:  Time to Enjoy… and scroll down to send your comments.