In today’s WSJ Chad Aldeman takes a look at the thunderous bipartisan applause that greeted the ending of school choice rights for a lot of families.
He’s everywhere! Michael Gerson channels Aldeman on the new education law in his WaPo column. The force is strong with this one.
Related: Keep those parents locked down!
This story – the Idaho school lunch worker who was fired for giving a hungry kid a free lunch – is the kind of story that doesn’t quite ring right and makes you wonder what else is happening. This kind of thing, feeding hungry kids who don’t have lunch money, happens all the time formally or informally – as it should. But, even absent context the account is a good touchstone because it points up an important issue: this country produces plenty of food but that doesn’t mean everyone has enough. More on that here.
‘Tis the most ascriptive time of the year…. State pension politics.
The Times looks at the high school graduation rate issue. Warning: rates don’t tell you everything! Jenn Schiess and I took at look at that in the rural context in this ROCI paper (pdf).
Panic with a clever round up of articles he wished he’d penned. Is restorative justice another good idea the education sector is about to discredit?
A little weather is good for you – at all ages.
Finally, thank you! Thanks for reading. 2015 was another good year for the blog on traffic, impact, and fun. Best wishes for the new year and see you in 2016.
4 Replies to “Aldeman On ESSA And School Choice, Henderson Departs, Hunger, Poverty, And Pension Politics! Graduation Rates. Thank You!”
Thanks for posting Chad’s column in the WSJ today. As one who helped put this choice program together in NCLB, I am well aware of its strengths, weaknesses, and extraordinary potential. Had the Congress wanted to fix the weaknesses, they certainly could have. We know all the many ways this program didn’t work and why. Those who worship at the altar of local control naturally would not have the will or desire to make it or any version of it work.
This is yet another example of how faux federalists choose local bureaucrats over parents in the pecking order. I’ve served on a local school board. It’s high time for all the DC-based faux federalists to “come on down” and “put their backsides in the chair” in governing education in the flyover America they so happily empowered in ESSA.
People will evaluate No Child Left Behind in various manners. From my perspective, which is that of an educator trying hard to contribute to fixing America’s education system, NCLB, and in particular the outrageous waivers that replaced it once its goals were seen to be unachievable by 2014, ruined any hope that Washington, D.C. could be counted on to add value to educators’ efforts, or could even be trusted to faithfully execute laws enacted by Congress. California’s recent actions have damaged any confidence that help will arrive here from the state level, either, even if Sacramento did successfully resist some of the bullying supplied by ED. Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and millions like them have not been saved by being tested relentlessly during this century, as demanded by federal, state, and local governments, and meanwhile the United States has fallen further behind its foreign competition in preparing a competent generation of young adults; so, as I see it, the best hope on the horizon is for families to continue to opt out of test-dominated state schooling until Washington, D.C. gives up altogether on this still dominant pathway, and accountability becomes locally available by being directed towards local families, not D.C. bureaucrats whose value addition has been, on the whole, negative.
thanks for posting this column.
NCLB was based on many false assumptions and downright lies, but let’s just concentrate on school choice:
It is simply not true that parents in most American cities have little or no choice in where they send their children to school. Here are just some of the choices public school parents have in a large California city:
They can ask for a transfer within their district;
They can ask for a transfer in another district, especially if their babysitter or place of employment is there:
They can send their children to low-cost parochial schools or high-cost private ones;
They can ask for scholarships to parochial and private schools;
They can work at a private school, in exchange for free tuition;
They can move to a more affluent community where achievement is often higher. Even these communities have some low-income housing for those who really want to live there.
The truth about “school choice” is revealed in the WSJ article quoted in this post. Even when offered a “better” (i.e. richer) school, only 3% of parents took advantage of it. In the low-income, low-performing school where I taught, the vast majority of parents were very satisfied with the school and did not choose to move their students, even when many options were made available.
Are you, or were you, a public school parent? If so, you know very well that you had a lot of choices. No, the real loss in regard to “choice” is for the privatizers who will lose big time. And who would know that better than the Wall Street Journal? Well, the American people are not stupid and aren’t about to turn over their public schools to private individuals or corporations!