Category: Education

Guide to the Issues: Education

Principles: Curriculum standards should be rigorous, clear and measurable. All students should be held to high standards and high expectations. Teacher recruitment, education, training and compensation should be focused on attracting and retaining high quality teachers. School finance should be on a child basis, not a district basis, so that the money follows the child. Education should be personalized to meet students’ diverse needs and provide the maximum amount of choice for each to find the educational setting best suited for them. Recommendations: Implement a simpler, student-centered funding model that encourages flexibility. Fund public charter schools more equitably. Allow schools to move toward competency-based learning. Shift away from top-down regulation and micro-management of schools to accountability based on choice and… View Article

Guide to the Issues: Higher Education

Georgia ranks 33rd in terms of postsecondary participation. In 2014, 51 percent of young adults were enrolled in postsecondary education or had earned a degree, compared to 55 percent nationally. [1] The average amount of annual in-state tuition and fees at Georgia’s public four-year universities increased by more than 31 percent over the last five years (a greater increase than all but one state). But the average amount of tuition and fees, $8,447, ranks below the national average at 31st. Net tuition revenue per FTE (tuition after scholarships and other grants) is $4,468, ranking Georgia 41st highest in the nation. Net Tuition Revenue is calculated by taking the gross amount of tuition and fees, less state and institutional financial aid,… View Article

NCPA on Higher Education and Online Courses

A July 2016 Issue Brief by Christian Yiu of the National Center for Policy Analysis proposes accreditation reforms to allow for increases in the quality and quantity of online learning in higher education. The Issue Brief is below; for a PDF version that includes references, go to http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/ib197.pdf. Higher Education and Accrediting Online Courses By Christian Yiu Traditional higher education is not meeting the needs of employers. For example, a survey by the data provider PayScale and the executive development firm Future Workplace found that 87 percent of graduates feel they are ready for the workforce, but only 50 percent of managers feel recent graduates are prepared for a full-time job. In addition, the cost of higher education is… View Article

An Unwarranted Criticism of School Choice

By Russ Moore May is known for flowers, Memorial Day, graduations and – to some in the education arena – the annual GradNation report by America’s Promise Alliance.  The report, the seventh annual, is commendable: chock-full of well-researched statistics and compelling charts reporting America’s progress becoming a “GradNation” by achieving an average high school graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020. Sadly, the predictable “spin” from groups with an ax to grind has also hit the streets. Case in point: A recent article on the Education Week (EdWeek) blog has the tantalizing headline: “Charter, Alternative, Virtual Schools Account for Most Low-Grad-Rate Schools, Study Finds.” EdWeek may not be an “enemy” of school choice, but a casual search of its… View Article

Does More Money Improve Outcomes?

Fifty years ago, James S. Coleman published a groundbreaking education report that many call the fountainhead for those committed to evidence-based education policy. Among other things, Coleman found that variations in per-pupil expenditure had little correlation with student outcomes. Even to this day, there remains the simple question as to whether, other things equal, just adding more money to schools will systematically lead to higher achievement. Figure 2 shows the overall record of states during the past quarter century. Changes in real state spending per pupil are uncorrelated with changes in 4th-grade student achievement in reading. Similar results are obtained in math and in both math and reading at the 8th-grade level. Clearly, states have changed in many other ways… View Article

Extending the REACH of Academic Achievement

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Education activists watched in dismay as education reform proposals were swept under the rug once again at the Gold Dome in 2016 before legislators rushed home to begin campaigning. Across the state, however, as graduation ceremonies approach, one reform begun in 2012 is providing hope: REACH Georgia scholarships. REACH Georgia (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) was launched in 2012 by Gov. Nathan Deal as a privately funded, needs-based mentorship and scholarship program based in Georgia’s public schools. Now it’s a public-private partnership; since 2015, the Legislature has appropriated $2 million for the program; for 2017, the amount is $2.75 million. “We’re not looking for the merit scholar,” says Joy Hawkins, director of business development… View Article
Gary Wolfram of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy analyzes Hillary Clinton’s proposals on funding higher education and concludes,  “Unfortunately her proposed solutions will not solve the cost and value problems in our higher education system, but will instead make them worse.” Read his commentary in its entirety below; find it on the Pope Center ‘s website at www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=3365. Clinton’s Higher Education Proposal Only Makes Our Problems Worse By Gary Wolfram When Bernie Sanders proposed free tuition at public colleges and universities, Hillary Clinton responded with her rival plan, The New College Compact. “Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state under the… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN Georgia and the rest of the country are experiencing a significant demographic change: We’re seeing more grandparents and children, with fewer folks in between. The Census Bureau projects that Georgia’s elderly population will nearly double between 2010 and 2030. Meanwhile, the number of children ages 5-17 is predicted to rise by 26 percent. This shift will place a serious strain on a decreasing percentage of working-age adults. Georgia has one of the most generous retirement exclusions for income tax purposes in the nation ($130,000 per couple) and, in many counties, those over 65 are exempted from school taxes. So Georgia’s anticipated 1 million-plus increase of retirement-age residents will be particularly significant as state and local… View Article
The Foundation for Excellence in Education distributed this news release today. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2016 Contact: 850.391.4090/PressShop@ExcelinEd.org GEORGIA: AT THE INTERSECTION OF EDUCATION AND AGING Research Report by ExcelinEd Highlights How Demographic Changes Will Challenge Georgia’s Public Education System Today, at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Dr. Matthew Ladner of the Foundation for Excellence in Education released original research on the demographic challenges facing Georgia’s education budget, entitled “At the Intersection of Education and Aging: Baby Boomer Retirement, Student Enrollment Growth and the Future of Georgia Education.” The analysis contains both research on the demographic challenges facing Georgia and strategies for substantially improving the academic quality of the state’s K-12 schools at a price taxpayers can afford.… View Article
Kenneth Artz of the Heartland Institute interviewed Foundation Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi on  the Georgia Education Reform Commission’s recommendations. The article is below; access the article on Heartrland’s Web site here: http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2016/02/10/georgia-commission-releases-reform-recommendations Georgia Commission Releases Reform Recommendations By Kenneth Artz A Georgia government commission released a report in December 2015 detailing recommended reforms lawmakers should consider during the recently convened legislative session. The commission called on the state’s legislature to fund charter schools in a more equitable manner and provide more support for districts wishing to explore tying teachers’ pay to student performance. The commission was composed of private-sector leaders, local and state education officials, and lawmakers. The stated goal of the Georgia Education Reform Commission is to “[provide]… View Article

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