Category: Education

by Kelly McCutchen A new report from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice, summarizes the academic evidence on the impact of school choice programs such as vouchers, tax credit scholarships and education savings accounts. The studies analyzed: Academic outcomes of choice participants Academic outcomes of public schools Fiscal impact on taxpayers Racial segregation in school Civic values and practice The results? Academic outcomes of choice participants  Twelve empirical studies have examined academic  outcomes for school choice participants using  random assignment, the “gold standard” of social  science. Of these, 11 find that choice improves  student outcomes—six that all students benefit and five that some benefit and some are not affected. One… View Article
By Eric Wearne Eric WearneSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation The United States government – our federal government – has taken what some might consider an alarming position in the question of whether families that prefer homeschooling can seek asylum here when teaching children at home is considered a crime in their own countries, punishable with prison terms and even having children removed from parental custody. The U.S. position is pretty straight and forward, as it is being argued in a Tennessee case that involves parents from Germany who came here in 2008.  The U.S. Department of Justice in federal court documents has argued that home schooling is not grounds for seeking asylum.   The case has not finally been decided but… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia lawmakers filed about five dozen public education bills in this year’s General Assembly, bills that address funding formulas, enhancements to parental school choice, tax credits, ideas to preserve HOPE financial aid, additional days for pre-K education programs and many more. Here is something lawmakers might want to think about:  Why was the employment growth rate for Georgia public school administrators and non-teaching staff nearly double the percentage growth rate in total student population between 1992 and 2009, at enormous real cost?  Also, why does Georgia employ more administrators and non-teaching staff than teachers? This data is found in “The School Staffing Surge,” a new report from the Friedman Foundation for… View Article

A Model for Using Hybrid Approach in the Classroom

By Eric Wearne Eric WearneSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation As the research continues to try to keep up with the practice on online and blended learning, it can be useful to look at what the marketplace of ideas is producing in the real world. Last week Education Sector profiled Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School, a charter school in Los Angeles, and discussed the school’s use of technology to expand the reach of its teachers: “The school uses a hybrid model that combines online and traditional instruction and allows students to learn in three different ways. On this particular fall day, 16 students are getting traditional in-person instruction in Algebra I from teacher Wendy Chaves; roughly the same number… View Article
By Eric Wearne Eric WearneSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Colleges around the country, including Emory, are constantly experimenting with online learning.  New formats and offerings appear somewhere every semester.  Many colleges already partner with the private company Coursera to offer fully online courses (though not for normal credits). Last week San Jose State University reached an agreement with another private online learning company, Udacity, to offer Udacity courses, with the aid of live San Jose State classroom instructors, for San Jose State credit in some remedial and introductory courses.   While disruptive to the normal way of conducting classes, this arrangement might represent a compromise skeptics can accept.  All three of the groups involved in this deal stand to benefit… View Article
By Ben Scafidi National School Choice Week begins January 25, and thousands of parents, students and school choice advocates will hold rallies, show movies and documentaries and visit their state Capitols to promote effective education options for every child. In Georgia, the votes are in: This state wants greater school choice, and political partisanship will not get in the way. Voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment in November to allow charter schools to once again be a viable option for Georgia families.  Despite a massive misinformation campaign, in which taxpayer funds were (wrongly) used, almost 59 percent of Georgia voters in this high turnout election supported something different than their local school boards and central office bureaucracy.  Georgians of… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation What we know or can know about each other never ceases to amaze me and it constantly evolves.  Netflix knows the movies we like.  Amazon knows what we want to purchase.  Websites target us with messages based on how we use websites.  Even toddlers use the web for videos and games as they acquire skill sets that will be essential for learning and success. The all-knowing online digital world will re-imagine and liberate learning.  “Education used to be someplace you went to.  You used to go to school to learn,” says John Bailey, executive director of Digital Learning Now!  “Now all of a sudden learning can come to wherever… View Article
By Michael Horn Michael Horn, Co-Founder and Education Executive Director, Innosight Institute The potential of a competency-based (or mastery-based) education system powered by digital learning to customize for each individual student’s needs and bolster learning excites many. A question some ask though is: What about the unmotivated students? Won’t they be left behind? Furthermore, in light of the recent publicity around the research on the importance of grit — defined as “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them” — to life success, some further suggest that although competency-based learning and blended learning are nice, unless we solve the problem of instilling grit or perseverance in all students, isn’t it true that those next-generation learning things… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Pop Quiz:  Is there ever anything good about receiving a D+ grade? This week the public education watchdog StudentsFirst ranked Georgia 15th nationally in a report that analyzed state laws and policies rather than student performance.  The D+ grade assigned to Georgia considered improvements in public charter school laws and a new teacher evaluations format but the report card downgraded Georgia for weakness empowering parents with meaningful information and deficiencies in financial accountability policies. The overall message to Georgia is the state has plenty of room for improvement.  And, that is also true nationally. Grading states in a numerical range that produced an “A-to-F” format, no state received an “A”… View Article
(Georgia Public Policy Foundation Senior Fellow Eric Wearne attended the Foundation for Excellence in Education conference in Washington, D.C.  He wrote this article for The Forum.) Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Eric Wearne Who among us would send our child to a public school in the District of Columbia, chosen at random?  This question may be uncomfortable, but it is one that could be asked about many, many low-performing school systems across the country.  It is a question Joel Klein, former Chancellor of the New York City School system, posed at the recent Excellence in Action Summit. As noted earlier in another Forum article, the Excellence in Action summit included significant discussion about innovation in education,… View Article

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