Category: Education

Atlanta – Governor Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District proposal was outdone by the National Education Association’s nearly $5 million opposition campaign and outvoted 60-40 percent on November 8. Still, this state can’t afford to leave 68,000 children out to dry in “chronically failing schools.”  What next? Find out at, “Saving Our Students: Georgia’s Education Policy Options,” the final Leadership Breakfast of 2016 hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, at 8 a.m. on Thursday, December 8 at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. The speakers are (outgoing) Rep. Mike Dudgeon, a member of the Education Reform Commission, which released its recommendations in December 2015, and Erin Hames, a former teacher, former Chief of Staff at the Georgia Department of… View Article

Give Prisoners a Second Chance

By Gerard Robinson and Elizabeth English On October 12, 29 prisoners and 45 Baltimore-area experts in criminal justice congregated in the Jessup Correctional Institution library. Most were members of the University of Baltimore community or other academics. All were eager to see the inauguration of a Department of Education pilot program that could change the lives of participants for years to come. In June 2016, the university was chosen among 67 colleges and universities nationwide to participate in the Obama administration’s $30 million Second Chance Pell Grant Experimental Sites Initiative. Under the program, approximately 12,000 of America’s 2.2 million incarcerated will receive federal aid to pursue a higher education. Upon release, they will retain the Pell funding to finish… View Article

U.S. News & World Report Publishes on Education Funding

The September 20, 2016, edition of U.S. News & World Report published, “More Money, Same Problems,” an article by Georgia Public Policy Foundation Senior Felow Ben Scafidi and American Enterprise Institute Resident Fellow Gerard Robinson. The article is posted in full below; the link to the article is hereMore Money, Same Problems Showering public schools with funds has been a costly failure. Why not try something new? By Gerard Robinson and Benjamin Scafidi Public education is important to the economic and social well-being of our nation, which is why it is the No. 1 line item in 41 state budgets. Today, more than 50 million students attend America’s public schools. Some students are succeeding: They graduate… View Article

What Good is ‘Local Control’ When Kids are Failing?

By Benita M. Dodd As a native of South Africa who grew up under apartheid and was handed a second-class education, I often share with friends and colleagues that I’ve succeeded in spite of my education, not because of it. I owe my success to teachers who prodded me to aim high and who accepted no excuses. Others were not as fortunate as I to have demanding teachers. That’s why I am an enthusiastic and committed supporter of school choice and empowering parents who want an option for their child other than the school in their ZIP code. Why I believe that families’ pocketbook challenges shouldn’t hold students back where innovative opportunities are available. And why I believe the money… View Article

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 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 for the… View Article

The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes