New York Impasse Ends Cuomo’s Tax Credit Scholarship Support

horse trading

horse trading

In a political move to pass immigration reform in New York, the Governor linked private school tax credit scholarships to Dream Act bills.  The trade off would make undocumented students eligible for college scholarships in exchange for tax credit scholarships for poor and wealthy families.

A bipartisan coalition failed, and the Governor announced this week he would withdraw budget funding for both programs.  Reading the article in Capital magazine is like reading a political case study.

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Florida Legislature Addresses Bilingual Students

multilingual-456774_1280From Rosa Castro Feinberg

Many of our students speak more than one language.  There are two bills in the Florida legislature that may affect them.

Some states recognize their achievement.  Some recognize that being equally proficient in different languages is difficult.

What can or should Florida do?  You can make your voice heard.

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Charter School Facilities: Your Money, Their Property

school-295210_1280

by Sue Legg, Pat Drago, and Ruth Melton

Charter schools are public schools, right?  Well  yes, but they are owned and managed by private companies.  Most of their facilities are privately owned.  If they close, the private company retains the buildings.

Charter schools should receive the same amount of money as district schools, right?  Seems fair until you think about it.

Let’s think about it.  We need to, there is a bill in the legislature.

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“Togetherness”, the Anti-Community’s Community?

Divided Community

Divided Community

Now television is in the charter fray.  In this review of the series “Togetherness”, Joshua Leibner in Salon magazine describes its charter school subplot.  Are neighborhood schools the “bogeyman for all of society’s ills?, he asks.  He wonders if for white people of their education and class,  all the education reform nonsense might feel right for minority kids–but just not for their children?  The setting for the series is in Eagle Rock in Los Angeles.  This is a real place where both Leibner and the show’s producers actually live.  Is the show fact or fiction? Continue reading

Facing the Future

by Krista Soboh

traffic-lights-466950_1280I received this post when we were just launching the blog.  I liked it, and I saved it.

Now our posts have greater scope, but I believe we still are most concerned with the here and now.  After all, we have to manage the present in order to have a reasonable future.

Krista suggests we have to define the problems facing our schools, not the current issues, but those that are relevant to the world our children will confront.  My kids talk about the ‘skill sets’ they need for whatever job comes up.  They expect change, not careers.  They are prepared.Continue reading

Virtual or Vanishing Schools?

virtual school

virtual school

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released its 2015 report on virtual schools.  As usual there is some good news and some bad news.  The “good news” is that students taking Algebra I and English courses do not do any worse than students in traditional public schools.  What a curious turn of phrase.  In the context of the full report, perhaps it is a warning sign.

One thing is clear.  It is difficult to obtain the comprehensive, valid data that are needed to evaluate the quality of the online education sector.

 

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Charters: Public, Private, Both: An Auditor’s View

Dave Yost

Dave Yost

Can you make a cogent argument about which regulations are needed and which inhibit a flexible, innovative school system?  It is not an esoteric topic.  With the plethora of examples of charter school fraud, waste and abuse, we know something is not working right.  What changes should be made?

Ohio’s Auditor of State, Dave Yost, has been doing some serious thinking.  He is concerned about which aspects of charter school operations are subject to public entity law and which relate to laws governing private companies.  It makes a difference in what information is subject to public disclosure.  The criteria for ethical behavior differ as well.  Charters are both public and private.  Which set of rules apply?

This piece is not a polemic.  It is a thoughtful article by a fiscal conservative who believes in small government.  He is concerned about preserving the public interest when contracting with private entities for services like schools and prisons.  It is a thorny problem we all need to ponder.

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