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"School choice, it seems, should be a no-brainer. Why not give families vouchers, allowing them to make free choices for their children’s education? There’s a reason increasing numbers of inner-city activists in places like Chicago and Washington, D.C., are fighting for charter schools and voucher programs. They know choice would be better for their kids. They know the government has failed them."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/08/14/the_crazy_world_of_public_schools_123654.html


The Crazy World of Public Schools | RealClearPolitics
www.realclearpolitics.com
Are America’s vast, sprawling, powerful government agencies really all that bad? Left-leaning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, in a recent series of columns and blog posts, has...
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:51:55 +0000
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LIKE if you agree with the 80% of Kansans who believe that employees should have the right to decide, without force or penalty, whether to join or leave a labor union. http://www.employeefreedomweek.com/survey-results/


Survey Results | Employee Freedom Week
www.employeefreedomweek.com
National Employee Freedom Week has released a series of scientific surveys to find out how many union members want to leave their union and gauging the public’s support for employee freedom. The results were surprising.
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:16:37 +0000

Kansas school funding has been increasing
www.washingtonpost.com
The Aug. 1 news article “In Kansas, a deep-red ‘experiment,’ ” about Kansas’s tax reform, provided incomplete data on school funding. The base state aid data used to show a decline in school funding r...
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:27:30 +0000
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KPIBlog
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K-12 Reform Heads To Topeka
Posted by James Franko on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Too often in Kansas we talk a lot about how much we spend on K-12 education but not nearly enough time talking about student achievement.

Next week the House Education Committee plans to change that (at least for the day) with a series of hearings on Thursday 19 January.  Never mind the usual hearings of one person standing up and giving a canned speech.  Next week, Rep. Clay Aurand's committee will be having congressional style panels with multiple people testifying at the same time.  Hopefully allowing for a more robust discussion.  Check out the proposed speaker line up below...subject to chance, unfortunately.

9:00 a.m. – The State of Kansas Education
Dave Trabert - President of Kansas Policy Institute
Dr. Janet Barresi - Oklahoma State Commissioner of Education and member of Chiefs for Change
Mark Tallman - Kansas Association of School Boards

10:00 a.m. – Public School Reform
Natise Vogt – Walton (KS) Rural Life Center
Gary Lewis – Maize (KS) Virtual Preparatory School
Peter Groff – Visiting fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Education and the Principal of MCG2 Consulting and the former President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Susan Patrick – President of International Association For K-12 Online Learning

The hearings will likely be held in the Old Supreme Court Chamber at the Capitol.

After the hearings, Dr. Barresi will present at a public lunch for legislators at the Topeka Capital-Plaza hotel.  More details to come.

Unless we start challenging the status quo, more and more Kansas kids will be left behind their peers.  Hopefully, this is the first step in the right direction.

Comments:     
Posted by Guest on Monday, January 16, 2012
Too often we jump to conclusions about what needs to be done to improve or "fix" education. Being in a review of all the scholarly literature on achievement at the moment, it is clear that there is little consensus on what makes one teacher more effective than another at imparting information and yet certain teachers are consistently more effective than others and certain schools and districts are more effective than others. Rather than make recommendations about how much to spend, how to teach or structure the learning environment what is vital is to get the incentives right. We need to reward principles who produce improved results and efficiency as measured by both current standardized tests and new tests and allow them the freedom to reward teachers who add value to their students and students who achieve the greatest gains as well as those who achieve among the highest. If the lowest performing teachers (and principals) were removed from the system, even with targeted increased class sizes, we can raise the rate of learning for most student by half a year additional learning per year. This will result in billions of dollars increase in Kansas GDP, according to extrapolations of estimates done by Hanushek and Woessmann. Proper incentives and power to the principles is the first key. Including online elements in learning also appears very promising as it is cost effective, can lower teacher work-load freeing up time to help weaker students and provide instantaneous feedback to student. Discipline is another key issue, sucking up instructional time.
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