To keep extremism at bay, Republicans need to use proportional representation as the method for selecting delegates to their 2024 presidential convention. Current rules have a strong winner-take-all bias – designed in many states to create horserace elections, in which the candidate who wins the most votes in any given state, wins all, or most of, the delegates from that state.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress has just reported steep drops in student achievement at the nation’s public schools. How will parents respond to the news? Is the downward trend in private education enrollments about to be reversed?
Before COVID-19, private school enrollments were headed downhill. Between 1964 and 2019, the percentage of students attending private schools fell from 14 percent to 9 percent of all school-age children, an all-time low.
According to the just released National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation’s report card, 9-year-old students suffered over the past two years the worst declines in student achievement in math and reading in over half a century. What’s worse, the lowest performing ones suffered the most serious shortfalls.
We need new rules for the new omicron variant of COVID-19 to have a happy, normal school year in 2022. The new rules should be much the same as those my mom’s generation followed many years ago. Here are six key ones:
President Biden wants credit for opening up the nation’s schools within 100 days of taking office. Yet over a third of U.S. students still aren’t going to a classroom every day. Many urban districts open their doors only to young children or for just two days a week, and scare talk dissuades numerous parents from sending their kids.
The War on Poverty drags on. President Trump’s budget proposes heavy cuts in domestic spending, but not to compensatory-education programs, which aim to lift the achievement levels of disadvantaged students. Since 1980 the federal government has spent almost $500 billion (in 2017 dollars) on compensatory education and another $250 billion on Head Start programs for low-income preschoolers. Forty-five states, acting under court orders, threats or settlements, have directed money specifically to their neediest districts. How much have these efforts helped?
For Democrats and Republicans alike, charter schools have long provided a happy compromise between vouchers for religious schools and no school choice at all. Charters give families an alternative schooling option but remain publicly funded, secular institutions authorized by government agencies. They have been warmly endorsed by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.
As compared to other undergraduates, Hispanic students are 33 percent more likely to be enrolled in a two-year college rather than a four-year university. According to the National Center on Educational Statistics, Hispanic students constituted 23 percent of the 2014 undergraduate enrollments in colleges offering an associate's degree, but only 17 percent of the enrollment in institutions offering a bachelor's.
As lawsuits multiply and partisans continue to squabble over President Donald Trump’s executive order banning migration from six majority-Muslim nations, liberals in the mainstream media have been pushing the line that America’s historic tolerance of religious diversity no longer extends to adherents of the Islamic faith. A just-released Education Next survey tells a different story.
President Donald Trump’s poll numbers have slipped well below levels enjoyed by prior presidents during their first one hundred days. But on one issue—school choice—the president is pushing the numbers in the direction he desires. It’s time for him to push his school choice agenda.
Alexis de Tocqueville concluded in the 1830s: “The situation of the Americans is entirely exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be put in the same situation.”
When Donald Trump selected an advocate for school choice, Betsy DeVos, to be secretary of education, he was acknowledging what many parents have noticed for some time: District-run public schools aren’t educating students well.
The NAACP, at its national convention in Cincinnati, voted this July to support "a moratorium on the proliferation of privately managed charter schools." In Massachusetts, a local NAACP leader is campaigning against the charter-expansion referendum bill on the state ballot in November. Comparing charters to segregated schools, he shouted: "As Brown vs. the Board of Education taught us, a dual school system is inherently unequal."
Throughout this campaign season, Democrats have feigned confusion about why disaffected Republicans have not embraced Hillary Clinton, given Donald Trump’s character defects. But the K-12 education plank in the Democratic Party platform does a lot to explain the hesitance. The party’s promises seem designed to satisfy teachers unions rather than to appeal to ordinary Democrats, much less opposition moderates.
Americans have generally wanted much the same things taught in their public schools. Elementary students should learn three “R’s”—reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. In high school, it’s time to prepare for college or a career by studying core subjects, such as English, history, algebra, biology, and a foreign language. That basic understanding has not prevented political spats over school spending and school attendance boundaries. But the core operations of schools have usually been left undisturbed.