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  • Pencils Ready! Race to the Test Shows Federal Overreach in State Assessments

    As Race to the Top – the Obama administration’s $4.35 billion grant program designed to spur education reform – becomes a summer-long marathon for the remaining states that did not win grants in the first round of competition, the U.S. Department of Education has added an additional contest to the … More

    Race to the Bargaining Table: Does Federal Grant Program Reward Unions?

    Monday’s announcement that Delaware and Tennessee would win the first round of Race to the Top funds put a reality check on the grand expectations for the grant competition’s potential for true reform. While many of the first round’s 16 finalists presented applications strongly committed to the specific grant requirements … More

    Winds of Change in the Windy City’s School System

    Chicago witnessed one small victory for urban school reform and parental choice yesterday as the Illinois State Senate voted 33-20 to approve a pilot voucher program for low-income Chicago students currently attending the city’s worst performing schools. The School Choice Act, sponsored by Democrat James Meeks, provides children in Kindergarten … More

    Florida School Reforms: How to Increase Inclusion and Achievement

    The recently released 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading results for grades 4 and 8 suggest that the sweeping education reforms implemented in Florida since 1998 have led to gains in achievement. One of the concerns raised by NAEP evaluators at a press conference to announce the test’s … More

    Bipartisan Group of Senators Support the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

    Amid the partisan bickering and procedural conundrums of the health care bill last week, a small group of senators from both sides of the aisle found common ground in advocating for school choice in the District of Columbia. An amendment to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program for the next … More

    Secluding Schools and Restraining States: Congress Prepares to Regulate Private Schools

    The Keeping Children Safe Act might sound laudable in name, but it represents the most recent intrusion of the federal government on local public and private schools. H.R. 4247, which passed the House last week by a vote of 262 to 153, prescribes federal regulations on seclusion and restraint disciplinary … More

    Dropout Crisis Prompts Federal Reach into Schools

    President Barack Obama announced Monday that $900 million in federal grants in the proposed FY 2011 budget would be available to school districts and administrators who work to transform roughly 5,000 failing school across the nation. While the proposal encourages transformation of the few thousand schools that produce half of … More

    Federal Preschool Programs Waste Taxpayers’ Money, Limit School Choice

    The alphabet is expensive. The Obama administration’s FY 2011 budget includes $9.3 billion in new spending on an Early Learning Challenge Fund, a new federal preschool program contained within the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA). The SAFRA, a higher education bill, has passed the House and is awaiting … More

    The Cartel: The True Nature of Teacher Unions

    The problem of continual academic mediocrity that plagues America’s public school system can be laid at the door of union monopolies. That’s the message of The Cartel, a new documentary that will show this Sunday at 12 pm at the Washington, D.C. Independent Film Festival. The film documents the abuses … More

    States Make Strides in School Choice While D.C. Gets Left Behind

    School districts and legislatures in Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Virginia are demonstrating a commitment to greater educational opportunities for students and families by challenging the status quo of mediocre and failing public schools. While many East Coast states spent the weekend focused on snow removal, the town of Central … More