It’s time to listen to what Millennials are telling us about education priorities

If you want a peek at where our educational priorities might land in about 10 years, take a look at this poll. Here are a few hot-button findings that jump out from “Education in America: The Views of Millennials:” Millennials support school choice, both charters and vouchers, especially if the vouchers help low-income families afford private school. Millennials think there… Read more →

For students with special needs, social skills are as important as math and reading

Inspired by her ongoing journey to get her son the education she wanted for him, Lia Martin became an advocate for parents of kids with disabilities. Kim McCann Fultz moved from Brooklyn to a small town in rural Ohio in hopes that the new setting would be beneficial to her son Micah’s learning and social life, and to be closer to family.… Read more →

How can I be pro-public school, pro-school-choice, anti-voucher–and still find reasons to cheer the new IL plan?

Now that the state’s school funding plan is the law, the big question is whether the Chicago Teachers Union will challenge it. While the law paves the way for financial stability for Chicago Public Schools, the union signaled a fight around the tax credit scholarship program, a provision added at the 11th hour to garner conservative support. To be honest,… Read more →

Vocational ed: Path to prosperity? Or realization our grads are not prepared for college?

“All throughout high school, they made it sound like going to college was our only option,” says Derrick Roberson, a 17-year-old high school graduate in southern California. Vocational classes were seen as second-class. But he had doubts. “After you go to college, where do you go? It can open doors for you, but not as much as they make it… Read more →

When teachers shill for high-tech companies: Icky, but is it unethical?

I’m all about teachers embracing new technology in their classrooms and sharing their best practices with colleagues. But there’s something unsettling when a teacher gushes about all the high-tech product placements she “embeds” in her “brand.” Now Kayla Delzer, a third-grade teacher in a rural North Dakota district, can gush about her latest score in brand enhancements: This front-page story… Read more →

Illinois now an ‘imperfect’ model for fixing unequal school funding and teacher pensions

With the recent passage of SB 1947, Illinois, so often an example of what not to do in school finance, is now poised to be something of a model for the rest of the country. SB 1947 rewrites the state’s school finance laws, which were the most inequitable in the country. Under this new system, Illinois will now fund districts… Read more →

Why I’m celebrating Illinois’ school funding fix–and ignoring the voucher kerfuffle

I’m going to take a moment to celebrate my state’s historic school funding plan–and ignore the brewing debate over a private school tax credit that opponents want to call a backdoor voucher program but isn’t a voucher program at all. Today, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign legislation that will close spending inequities, reduce the reliance on property… Read more →

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