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  • Thousands of Children’s Wish-Lists Include Chance to Attend a Good School

    While many kids have sent their wish lists to Santa Claus, millions of kids around the country are wishing for an even more important gift this year—the chance to attend a good school.

    Brooke Dollins Terry of the Texas Public Policy Foundation published an important report documenting the long waiting lists at the Lone Star State’s charter schools. She found that: “Last year, 40,813 students were on waiting lists to attend a public charter school in Texas,” This number is more than double the 16,810 students the previous year.” Texas is not alone with its long waiting list. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, an estimated 365,000 students were on charter school waiting lists this year.

    At these over-subscribed charter schools, lotteries are generally held to decide which lucky kids get the chance to attend. This means that whether or not a child has a chance to attend a good school often depends on whether their ping-pong ball or number is chosen randomly out of a box. That’s right: their futures are decided by chance.

    Of course, lotteries are also held to determine which children get to participate in over-subscribed private school choice programs. For example, in 1999, the non-profit Children’s Scholarship Fund announced that it would award tuition scholarships to 40,000 low-income students across the country. More than 1 million children applied. Lotteries were held in participating cities. In Baltimore, for example, more than 40 percent of eligible children applied. Oversubscribed voucher programs like the DC Opportunity Scholarships have been forced to hold lotteries to determine which lucky kids get to attend private school.

    Something is seriously wrong with American education when whether children have an opportunity to attend good schools is left up to chance.

    This holiday season, elected officials across the country—from school boards to state houses to Capitol Hill—should resolve to answer children’s wishes to attend good schools by reforming education policies to give all families the power to choose the best learning environment for their children. For starters, they can do this by enacting private school choice policies like scholarships and tax credits, by allowing more high-performing charter schools to open, and by expanding access to online learning and virtual education programs. No child’s future should be determined by a lottery.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Thousands of Children’s Wish-Lists Include Chance to Attend a Good School

    1. Bill Sr, Jacksonvill says:

      It was clear to me during the campaign that BHO’s path to prominence was filled with too many anti-American socialist and communists “professors” and “advisors” with whom he associated and often praised as his mentors. This alone, for me, trumped any passionate rhetoric of his which many voters fell victim to and allowed an inexperienced community organizer to rocket to a position for which he was totally unprepared.

      It also was obvious to some of us that he would have to rely on his handlers to put in place all the needed advisors and czars required to guide his hand in “transforming” our nation while he read the teleprompter and signed the bills the most liberal congress in our history would provide for the socialist agenda as planned long before the campaign ever began. It went off perfectly for those who for years worked to produce and direct this novel of demise for American capitalism. All they needed was a smiley face who agreed with the plan and could eloquently deliver their message wrapped in false compassion.

      We hoped we might be wrong and this fresh face might actually represent a change in Washington politics as usual. But almost within hours of his taking office all those hopes were dashed.

      It only took two actions on Obama’s part to destroy any faith we had in his ability or promise to be the caring president we all were expecting from our leader.

      1. He immediately reversed the Mexico City policy and permitted taxpayer money to go to fund abortions abroad.

      2. He stated within a month his desire to end the D.C. voucher program for the failing and heavily black school district students who were benefiting with an opportunity to opt into “school choice” and receive a decent education.

      This last decision, literally pulling the safety net of Hope and Change from the poor and disadvantaged children trapped in the perpetually over financed and under achieving public schools in Washington D.C. to which he would never consider sending his own children, to me and anyone with an ounce of compassion “defined” the real Barack Obama

    2. Tim Az says:

      This must really burn liberals shorts. Witnessing the rejection of their govt. run indcotrination camps for kids.

    3. A Frustrated Parent, says:

      We could open a billion more charters in this country, and it won't solve the underlying problem of the low availability of competent teachers, in part caused by 1) socialistic teacher colleges, who also attract the college applicants with the lowest average SATs, 2) no pay for performance salary systems, and 3) poor teacher training. Charters often work cause they attract the best teachers, but there aren't enough of them today to staff all the public schools if charters replaced them all right away.

      Many teacher colleges and their graduates are more interested in students gaining self esteem than the three R's and cultural literacy; also, many teachers can't spell or perform basic math consistently. Charters and private schools work cause they can send those teachers to other careers; public schools don't or can't but they could if we change the system.

      Until the US creates an educational system that hires and rewards academically exceptional students to teach our children and to teach them to use the methods that have objectively worked, like Direct Instruction, Cultural Literacy, English immersion, high standards, carrot and stick consequences (figuratively), and flexible ability grouping (especially for gifted students), we will watch American productivity sink to new lows.

      If we refuse to education our own children well, we will need to adjust our immigration policy to nationalize only the best students from other countries.

    4. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Depends on the definition of good, doesn't it. Obama's definition is; " If it don't leak, and the power works and the heat and lights work, and we have metal detectors in place, and the children are taught History as I know it, there are no problems, and it is all good."

    5. philip says:


    6. Linda, Carlsbad says:

      This administration acts like they want to help the kids, but they don't. Their actions tell all!

    7. SAMUEL, AMERICA says:



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