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Category Archives: k-12 education

School choice doesn’t hurt, often helps

Breaking the chain between street address and the school a child attends–school choice–is not only moral, it works. Education Week recently ran a commentary from nine scholars who make that point. The nine, who include representatives from the American Enterprise Institute and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, say that in 20 years we have learned a lot […]

Minnesota is a Leader in Digital Learning, With More to Do

Minnesota may be a leader in one new development in education, but there’s a long ways to go. The news comes from Digital Learning Now (DLN), which describes itself as “a national campaign to advance policies that will create a high quality digital learning environment to better prepare students.” (For a very quick introduction of digital learning, […]

School Elections Are Getting Political–Thankfully

Tomorrow is school election day, which prompts the question: Is a non-political approach to education possible–or even desirable? A recent article in the Star-Tribune carries the headline “School board races become more political.” The lead paragraph says, “polarizing politics seen nationwide are filtering down to the most local level.” What’s the evidence? “Community campaigns have endorsed strings […]

LaPlante: Union dinosaurs vs. online learning

Digital technology has transformed the way we read, bank, shop, keep in touch with one another, and do business. Can it shake up the nation’s sluggish public schools? Perhaps – but only if we don’t expect tomorrow’s schools to be managed like yesterday’s. Consider that, according to the Michigan Department of Education, one of every […]

Online Learning Grows Fastest in Charter Schools

Charter schools have been one of the most important innovations in public education in the last 20 years. They are the natural home to online learning, which is the next new thing. Online learning, which goes by the name of  online learning, cyberschools, and a few other terms, is subject to both hype and unfair […]

Did Michigan Drop the Factory Model of Schools?

The Michigan Legislature has enacted some sweeping changes in the state’s tenure laws for public school teachers. Good. It’s about time schools stopped acting like factories–at least in their personnel policies. If my quick review of the Legislature’s website is correct, the changes are made in HB4625,HB4626, HB4627, and HB4628. Michigan, by the way, is following in the footsteps of […]

Do children in America’s capitol have better options than those in Detroit?

Thanks to View colleague Henry Payne for pointing out a good feature of the recent budget agreement in Washington, DC: It breathes new life into the DC school voucher plan, giving it a five-year extension. That’s good news all around. The program is popular with district residents, and garners near-universal support from parents who have taken advantage of […]

Time for Michigan to embrace educational options and end religious bigotry

Arizona, like several other states, lets people get tax credits if they give money to organizations that in turn give scholarships for children who wish to attend a private school. In fact, Arizona kids can get financial help this way, even if they want to attend a religious school. The ACLU and the public school […]

Minnesota on Math

According to a recent report, “math skills better predict future earnings and other economic outcomes than other skills learned in high school.” So how does Minnesota compare with the other states and countries around the world? We get some answers in “U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective” (PDF), published by the Program on Education Policy and […]

Will the New Charter School Law Close Options to 13,000 Children?

Last year the Minnesota Legislature imposed new requirements on the organizations that oversee charter schools. As a result, as many as 13,000 children may be forced back into district schools next year. Maybe the decision for the Minnesota Department of Education to get out of the business of serving as an overseer should be reconsidered. […]