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Category Archives: k-12 education

The High-income Students are Where?

We’re not always logical when it comes to the way we use the English language. Stories about schools and education policy, for example, may mention “low-income students.” I don’t think I’ve ever met a student, at least a K-12 student, who is not a “low-income” individual. Somehow I’ve missed seeing those 14-year-old middle managers, doctors, […]

School choice: A practical, pragmatic response to school failure

Fix a problem now, or hope for a resolution a decade or more away? The Atlantic magazine has a lengthy article about families in Detroit who use Michigan’s law (“schools of choice”) that make it possible for thousands of schoolchildren to attend a school outside their district.  The article talks about parents who spend a […]

Saving money on college, extreme edition

Many people who attend college will be saddled with large debts and unmarketable degrees. One Minnesota man, though has found one way around it: Load up on college classes while still in high school. The Northfield News reports on one local resident who has earned a high school diploma and a college diploma in the same […]

Two school models, two ethical models of financing

As I left the church-based preschool my daughter attends, the director drew my attention to the nearby countertop. On it was a class photo of my girl and all her classmates. Would I like to buy this photo, she asked, for only $10? “Another revenue stream?,” I asked. “Oh yes,” she said, with a mixture […]

School Lunch Controversy Shows Problems of Centralized Planning

Students in Sharon Springs, Kansas, have produced a YouTube sensation mocking school-lunch guidelines laid down by the federal government.In the video, students collapse from hunger while playing school sports, or even sitting in a classroom. Critics say the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” is leaving students hungry by  limiting the calories they can get, and restricting […]

Let’s honor great teachers by recognizing that not all teachers are great

Arne Duncan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, has been visiting Kansas this week as part of a national tour designed to highlight the importance of excellent teachers. Duncan’s tour couldn’t come at a better time. As he pointed out in Topeka, one million students drop out of high school each year–with serious consequences for them […]

Primary Day Reflections on Schools

I went to vote today, at a junior high in that receives my tax dollars. As I walked in the main lobby, I was struck by the fact that there three large banners on the far wall, facing me. One said something about learning, discovery, etc. The other two were variations on “diversity is good.” […]

West Michigan Diary: Shake up education

Recently, I spent a few weeks in western Michigan where I spent the first 30 years of my life. My commentary on Michigan residents’ obesity drew some interesting comments. To paraphrase two of the responses: “If you hate Michigan so much, why don’t you stay in Minnesota?” Ah yes. Making a critical observation about something is an […]

Asserting Self-Governance in Education

A core principle of the American ideal is self-governance. The rise of technical expertise, combined with a “progressive” vision of a state-led society, has undermined that vision. Fortunately, examples of self-governance can still be found, and in some cases, growing in number. One place you find them is in education. Today, roughly 9 out of […]

Is a more-educated retail sales force worth the money?

Is the expense of going to college worth it? When you consider not only tuition and books, but also opportunity costs, the answer is sometimes “no, at least from a financial standpoint.” The Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education, naturally enough, is an advocate for spending on higher ed. It cites, among other things, salary premiums […]