The Independent Institute

 
        

Even When School Choice Works, Critics Call It a Failure »

Thomas Paine recommended vouchers to help parents afford private schools for their children more than 200 years ago. While most college students today use vouchers to attend public or private colleges and universities, the concept remains needlessly controversial when it comes to parents using them for their school-age children. For example, in a recent Washington...
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Fed ED Flunks »

One of the leading claims proponents made for establishing a US Department of Education was that state and local citizens simply couldn’t be trusted with education. What proponents leave out, of course, is any rational explanation why DC bureaucrats know better than we hoi polloi taxpayers and parents. A recent column by Santa Clara...
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Parental Choice: A Better Way to Fulfill the Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education »

This month marks the 62nd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, Oliver Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, which struck down the notion of “separate but equal” public schooling for black students. In spite of the civil rights advances we’ve realized over the past several decades, equal educational opportunities...
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No More Common Core in Arizona »

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas made national headlines last year for standing up for parental rights in education and opposing Washington, DC-driven Common Core standards. This morning, Superintendent Douglas motioned the state education board, the entity responsible for adopting Common Core in Arizona back in 2010, to vote on the standards, which...
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Children Are Not Creatures of the State: New Hampshire Edition »

Politicians across the country like to claim that they’re all in favor of local control of education—until parents and their locally elected officials actually start trying to exercise it. The small New Hampshire town of Croydon is a case in point. Like many small towns in New Hampshire, Croydon does not have public schools...
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Washington Post on Fed Ed Failure: Right Headline, Wrong Reasoning »

The headline to a Washington Post editorial by Lisa Guisbond caught my attention: “New school year: doubling down on failed ed policy.” But I was quickly disappointed. Guisbond echoed the common complaint that a decade of the federal No Child Left Behind Act focuses too narrowly on testing. Looming national Common Core standards will...
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Outsourcing Public Schooling »

What do you do with a public school district that spends more than $16,500 per student, runs deficits upwards of $11 million, and where student performance has stalled? Outsource school management, according to officials in one Michigan city. Highland Park City Schools are among the lowest ranked schools in the state. Highland Park Community...
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President Obama’s STEM Master Teacher Corps: Another Unconstitutional, Expensive Federal Foray into Education »

The U.S. Department of Education will soon be handing out federal paychecks to teachers across the country. On July 18 President Obama unveiled his $1 billion Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps. According to the White House: The STEM Master Teacher Corps will begin with 50 exceptional STEM teachers established in...
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What’s Really Behind Student Fade-Out: Summer or Schools? »

Children get dumber over the summer, says Peter Orszag, vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup Inc. and a former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration. He points to several research studies documenting fade-out among students when they’re away from the classroom during the summer months. But school...
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Adults Who Say the Kids Are Alright Get It Wrong »

Former New York City Board of Education Chancellor Joel Klein recently penned a compelling Time editorial lamenting the prevailing—and apparently growing—complacency about American students’ lackluster academic performance. He rightly points to research showing the failure to improve basic skills among students hurts their future earning potential, U.S. GDP, and even national security. While some...
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