Charter Schools: Doing More with Less MoneyJanuary 29, 2015
In honor of School Choice Week, organizations across the country are promoting school choice and explaining how giving parents and students options can allow children to thrive academically. At Reason.com, Jason Keisling, Nick Gillespie and Lisa Snell have compiled an infographic with some potentially surprising facts about charter schooling:
The Reason report notes that 91 percent of students in New Orleans attend charter schools today. Remarkably, as economist Jared Meyer of Economics21 noted in The Hill, the high school graduation rate in New Orleans has risen from just 54 percent in 2004 to 78 percent today.
- Charters produce more, with less money. In fact, charter schools receive 30 percent less per student than what a typical public school receives, yet they perform better -- for every $1,000 in funds, charter school students perform better on standardized testing -- 16 points higher on reading, and 17 points higher on math.
- Charter schools have more racial diversity than traditional public schools. Whites make up 52.4 percent of traditional public school students but just 35.6 percent of charter school students.
- Minority children from low-income families see real academic gains from charter schools. For example, blacks from low-income families attending charter schools receive the equivalent of an additional 7.5 weeks of math instruction and 6.5 weeks of reading instruction.
Source: Jason Keisling, Nick Gillespie and Lisa Snell, "5 Facts About Charter Schools," Reason.com, January 28, 2015.
There are some people who insist on advocating solely for private schools; the immediate and complete abandonment of state funding for education (and health and welfare). These advocates have a role to play. I differ.
Want to Raise Incomes? Support School ChoiceJanuary 29, 2015
Groups across the country are calling for raising the minimum wage, but Diana Furchtgott-Roth, director of Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute, says they should be focused on another issue: school choice.
School choice, says Furchtgott-Roth, would be a much better way to raise wages, incomes and opportunity for low-income Americans, because it slashes dropout rates, improves academic achievement and ultimately leads to economic gains. For example:
Allowing students to attend the schools that work best for them is a better way to improve economic mobility than mandating that employers pay minimum wages. Rather than help low-income workers, minimum wage increases reduce employment and job prospects, especially for teenagers.
- Researchers from Harvard University and Columbia University determined that replacing a poor teacher with a merely average teacher would boost a student's lifetime earnings by $14,500.
- A study from the Brookings Institution and Harvard University found that private school vouchers boosted college enrollment for black students by 24 percent.
Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, "Minimum Wage Advocates Should Support School Choice," Economics21, January 27, 2015.
There are these word puzzles that go something like, 'change the word class to growl in 5 steps' changing one letter at each step to form a new word (a do-able example if you want to have a crack).
I view societal change in the same manner. Charter schools or vouchers may only be the first or second step but the third won't be reached until those earlier steps are. And change is dynamic. So by the time the 'final' step is reached, a whole new impetus is working for even further change. Especially when technology is transforming the learning environment so rapidly.