Sunday, January 31, 2016

What School Choice Advocates Have to Celebrate

National School Choice Week has just kicked-off, and there is much to celebrate this year. National School Choice Week will feature over 16,000 events across the country this week, ranging from school pep rallies in support of school choice, to policy panels exploring the many school choice options that are now available to families.

Over the past two decades, choice in education has seen dramatic gains. From the nation’s first school voucher program in Milwaukee, Wisc. in 1991 (although Vermont and Maine have had proto school choice options via “town tuitioning” programs since 1869 and 1873, respectively, allowing children to enroll in public or private schools outside of their neighborhood if there is no public school to attend) to the more than 56 private school choice options that operate in 28 states and Washington, D.C. today, school choice has been on the march.

Over the past decade alone, from 2004 to 2014, the number of children exercising private school choice has increased by over 257,000, more than tripling to over 350,000 total students. And in 2011, Arizona broke new ground by becoming the first state to offer education savings accounts (ESAs) to eligible families.

Education savings accounts enable families to have a proportion (90 percent in the case of Arizona) of the money that would have been spent on their child in their public school deposited instead into a parent-controlled savings account.

Families can then use those funds to pay for private school tuition, online learning, special education services and therapies, individual courses at their local public school or charter school, and private tutoring, among other things.

Families can even roll over unused funds from year to year, and can roll funds into a college savings account. Five states now have education savings accounts in place, including Nevada, which in 2015 became the first state to enact a near-universal option.

Creating school choice options in the states has been a welcome change for families. A growing body of empirical evidence suggests school choice can significantly improve academic attainment outcomes for participants, and can have positive impacts on academic achievement. School choice also confers positive benefits to the public school system, which responds to the competitive pressure placed on it by surrounding private schooling options.

In a meta-analysis of the existing school choice literature, researcher Greg Forster found that to date, 12 empirical analyses employing random assignment methodology have examined the impact of school choice on the academic outcomes of participating children. Of the 12 studies, 11 found that school choice improved academic outcomes, with one study found no impact.

In addition to the positive impacts on academic outcomes, Forster also found that 23 evaluations of the impact of school choice on public schools have been conducted to date, using a mix of methodologies.

Twenty-two of the 23 studies found that choice improved educational outcomes for students in the public schools that faced competition because of school choice policies, while one study was unable to detect any impact. In addition to the positive impacts of choice on educational outcomes and public school performance, researchers have conducted six empirical evaluations of the fiscal cost of school choice, all finding school choice creates savings for taxpayers.

As National School Choice Week kicks-off, here’s hoping 2016 will be the best year yet for choice in education. Several states are currently considering options such as tuition tax credit scholarships and education savings accounts, meaning its likely that by this time next year, thousands of additional families could be experiences the benefits of educational choice, enabling them to craft learning options that are as unique as their individual children.


School bans chocolate for all children and teachers because one boy is allergic to it

A school has banned chocolate for all children and teachers - because one little boy has a super-sensitive intolerance.

Bars, sweets and even biscuits containing traces of chocolate are forbidden for the one child who could fall ill if he comes into contact.

Teachers are even barred from chocolate biscuits in the staff room in case particles of the food are passed 'airborne' to the young boy.

Parents were today fuming over the blanket ban of all chocolate from the 260-pupil school.

The boy - who has not been named - could fall ill just from being in the same room as where chocolate is present.

Education bosses at Alltwen Primary School, near Swansea, South Wales, have banned the sweet treat from the canteen, staff room and playground.

Head teacher Owain Hyett wrote to parents saying: 'Unfortunately one of our pupils has been diagnosed with a chocolate intolerance and can become very ill if in contact with chocolate.

'Sadly the pupil is also highly sensitive to chocolate if it is airborne or being eaten by another pupil.

'To maintain the safety of this pupil our school will be adopting a no chocolate policy for all pupils and staff. All areas of the school will be chocolate-free including the staff room and office.

An allergic reaction is caused by the body creating histamines and antibodies to fight the proteins in chocolate which create the problem.

The Food Standards Agency warns businesses involved in food preparation of the dangers of cross-contamination through the air.

Its advice is to use dedicated extraction fans and air conditioning units in areas where there is a possibility of cross-contamination to try and lower the risk.

'The catering department are working with the school to amend our dinner menu by replacing any chocolate products. We also ask that you ensure that there are no traces of chocolate in our pupils' packed lunches or school bags.'

The super-sensitive intolerance can cause respiratory distress, dizziness, burning sensation in the throat, swelling in the mouth and around the face, anxiety, behavioral problems, vomiting and diarrhea.

But one parent, who asked not to be named, said the ban 'would deprive' other children at the school.  She said: 'I feel sorry for pupils with allergies but banning chocolate for all children is not right, whatever next?

'What happens when the child who is allergic goes outside of school? Do they ask everyone not to eat chocolate? What if I have chocolate in my pocket in the yard at pick up time? Will we have chocolate police at the gate?

'Will this lead to staff wasting their time inspecting all the lunch boxes? How will this make my children feel?  'There must be another way of safeguarding the allergic child without depriving mine and other children of chocolate.'

But another woman said: 'My daughter attends this school and I agree with the head if I were to disobey school rules and gave my daughter chocolate and she went near the pupil myself and my daughter would feel terrible if that child fell ill or ended up in hospital.'


11-Year-Old Tells Teacher He Likes Trump, Gets Sick Surprise the Next Day

An 11-year-old boy from Raleigh, North Carolina, got to see liberal hate firsthand when he expressed support for billionaire businessman Donald Trump during a class assignment.

The student, only known as “Matthew,” called conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh Thursday and told him he attended a very liberal private school and one of his assignments last week was to answer the following question: “Beside Martin Luther King, who are some visionaries who are in the world?”

While others wrote down such answers like Rosa Parks and Abraham Lincoln, Matthew said he wrote down Donald Trump’s name. The next day, Matthew said the teacher pulled him aside and told him to erase the comment. When he asked why she asked, “What good has he done for this world?”

Matthew said he told his teacher Trump has “created his businesses, and he’s built magnificent buildings in many countries in the world, and he’s actually running for president while he’s actually stating his ideas.”

The teacher still insisted Matthew erase his comment. The boy told Limbaugh he “got mad after that.” But that wasn’t the end of his problems. After that incident, Matthew said he had become target at school with schoolmates telling him, “Donald Trump’s sucks and you do too.”

He admitted he didn’t know what to do, telling Limbaugh, “I don’t exactly like backing down that much and I was kind of disturbed by that.”

Limbaugh explained to Matthew that how liberals operate and that his classmates and teacher were jealous of him and they felt they could pick on him because the teacher called him out.

It’s shameful that a teacher, who is supposed to foster children’s ideas and growth, would do such a thing to a child.

But we are talking about liberals, who believe in indoctrinating children as young as they can.


No comments: