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Medicaid expansion discussion should be based on reality not promises of "free money" from Washington.


Patrick Parks talks about Medicaid expansion and Obamacare in Kansas
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Kansas residents who are already paying more for health insurance will also pay much more to fund an expansion of Medicaid. Patrick Parks, a fiscal policy analyst at the Kansas Policy Institute, talks about research KPI and other organizations have done in...
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:05:57 +0000
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Kansas' school finance system does little to serve our children. Instead it focuses on institutions. We need a student-focused, transparent formula that requires the efficient use of taxpayer money.


Legislature Considers Changes to School Funding Formula
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Dave Trabert, president of Kansas Policy Institute, talks about the state's K-12 school funding formula. The Kansas Legislature is considering block-grant funding schools for the next two years while they take a deliberative look at rewriting the formula....
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:10:07 +0000
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Kansas schools on track to receive $6 billion this year, setting a new funding record for the 4th consecutive year.

http://www.kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/125226.aspx
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Strong Evidence in Support of Charter Schools
Posted by Todd Davidson on Monday, June 4, 2012

Jay P Greene’s Global Report Card has outlined some strong evidence in support of charter schools:

According to the Global Report Card, more than a third of the 30 school districts with the highest math achievement in the United States are actually charter schools.  This is particularly impressive considering that charters constitute about 5% of all schools and about 3% of all public school students.  And it is even more amazing considering that some of the highest performing charter schools, like Roxbury Prep in Boston or KIPP Infinity in New York City, serve very disadvantaged students. 

Greene did acknowledge that this correlation does not prove causality, and argued a series of academic studies that use 'randomized control trials' – the method used in medical experiments – more rigorously prove the efficacy of charter schools.

Here's a run down of the studies:

From Boston:

… a team of researchers from MIT, Harvard, Duke, and the University of Michigan, conducted a RCT and found:  “The charter school effects reported here are therefore large enough to reduce the black-white reading gap in middle school by two-thirds.

From Stanford for the National Bureau of Economic Research:

On average, a student who attended a charter school for all of grades kindergarten through eight would close about 86 percent of the ‘Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap’ in math and 66 percent of the achievement gap in English. 

The same Stanford researcher also studied Chicago schools:

..students in charter schools outperformed a comparable group of lotteried-out students who remained in regular Chicago public schools by 5 to 6 percentile points in math and about 5 percentile points in reading…. To put the gains in perspective, it may help to know that 5 to 6 percentile points is just under half of the gap between the average disadvantaged, minority student in Chicago public schools and the average middle-income, nonminority student in a suburban district.

And lastly Greene summarized a study conducted Mathematica for the US Department of Education:

It found significant gains for disadvantaged students in charter schools but the opposite for wealthy suburban students in charter schools.  They could not determine why the benefits of charters were found only in urban, disadvantaged settings, but their findings are consistent with the three other RCTs that found significant achievement gains for charter students in Boston, Chicago, and New York City. 

For more on what it is that makes charter schools effective check out what the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has to say.

Across the country, public charter schools are creating a wide variety of innovations, including:

  • Curriculum design (e.g., Montessori, Core Knowledge, Advanced Placement Courses, Foreign Language Immersion Programs, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics)
  • Extended learning time
  • School cultures with high expectations for all students and adults
  • More structured and disciplined learning environments
  • Rewarding high-quality teachers with higher pay
  • Parent contracts
  • Multi-age programs 
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