We know that vouchers fail in at least two ways. First, vouchers do not raise student achievement. They also hyper-segregate schools, typically by excluding students with disabilities, students learning English, and children from low-wealth families.
Nevertheless, a large school district in Colorado adopted a plan to use about $3 million of its public education tax revenues to start a voucher program in the 2011-12 school year. Most of the private schools where the Douglas County School District wanted to pay tuitions are religious schools that require teachers, parents, and potential students to agree to religious tenets.
Programs such as Race to the Top that require states to compete for resources in the form of grants have not systemically solved the nation’s major education problems over the past two and a half years, nor will they in the future.
The role of the federal government is not one of a foundation, but as an agent of the people working to ensure opportunities for all. How can the United States win if most states lose, let alone stay on a trajectory to meet the President Obama’s 2020 goal for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020?
A four-part video series from the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy, featuring discussions with John Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and education historian Diane Ravitch.
In her "Child Watch" column, Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund draws attention to an exceptionally timely topic -- the over-reliance on counterproductive zero tolerance policies and the resulting school-to-prison pipeline.
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