For more than two decades, Michigan’s charter schools have been quietly delivering some very exciting results. Student growth and achievement, program innovation and vital connections made with traditionally underserved populations have helped breathe new life into the state’s K-12 landscape.
Free schools are state schools that are outside of local authority networks and which are set up by groups such as academy trusts, charities, parents and community groups. There are now about 800 free schools either open or in the pipeline. The NUT (National Union of Teachers) said the £138.5m on the closed or unopened schools would have paid for 3,680 teachers for a year. Ministers are accused of wasting millions on cancelled or closed free schools.
It has been three months since a newly elected Detroit school board began running the city’s public school system after a decade of state mismanagement. And to say that things are still chaotic is an understatement…. Detroit’s African-American fourth-graders have the lowest reading performance in the country.
Who would attempt to create a new school knowing that they have no guarantee of funding?
The first charter school law in America was enacted in 1991 in Minnesota. A quarter of a century later, there are nearly three million students attending more than 7,000 charter schools in 43 states and the District of Columbia. But there’s a right way and a wrong way for a state to join the charter school movement. And despite the prevailing winds, Kentucky appears to be about to do it the wrong way.
Building a network of successful charter schools isn’t easy, especially in a state as wary of school choice as California. But Dan Katzir and Gloria Romero have transformed public education in the face of tough opposition from political party leaders, union bosses, and school administrators. Katzir and Romero discussed the challenges of school choice with Lisa Snell at Reason Weekend, part of a series of lectures held annually by Reason Foundation.
This is not news: America does pretty badly when it goes up against other countries academically.
Today is Good Friday, the day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is a solemn commemoration and it’s also a legal holiday around much of the world. According to the gospels, Jesus was betrayed by Judas on the night of the Last Supper, commemorated on Holy Thursday. The morning following Christ’s arrest, he was brought before Annas, a powerful Jewish cleric. Annas condemned Jesus for blasphemy for refusing to repudiate Annas’ words that He was the Son of God. From there, Jesus was sent to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of the province, who put Jesus to death.
When the Romans killed Jesus, they must have felt pretty good about themselves. “Well, that’s that, problem solved,” Pontius must have said to himself after Jesus was crucified. “That’s the end of Christianity. Paganism will triumph for all of time.” What he and the other protectors of the status quo didn’t realize at the time is that history was not on their side. Jesus had a core following who not only believed strongly they were on the right side of history, but that they had the moral high ground based on a belief in justice. Jesus and his followers were advocates for the downtrodden and the voiceless of his time. And they won because the indefensible can’t be defended for eternity.
What does Good Friday have to do with charter schools and school choice, you might ask? History is littered with examples where defenders of the status quo fight to prevent the inevitable.