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NEWS
December 30, 2010
As a Baltimore city homeowner and taxpayer, I'm tired of spending a per pupil fortune and then ending up with the dismal results we do. Unlike Professor Howell Baum ("School choice is bad for us," Commentary, Dec. 30), I see no harm in school choice if it means most kids graduate, test scores rise and once again Baltimore has a productive work force. I don't care about "societal interests" if they end up damaging education outcome. And what's so horrible about folks wanting to be with those who share similar values?
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NEWS
April 21, 2014
I was impressed by the cogent commentary provided by Matthew Coile ( "Homeschooling away from home," April 15). One way of learning does not work for everybody. School choice gives parents the freedom to select the environment that they believe helps their children learn best and achieve their potential. Homeschooling is one such choice. Giving homeschooled kids - children of tax-paying parents - the opportunity to engage with the public school system is a win-win. In neighboring Virginia, homeschool families and public school officials appear to be very pleased with how access policies are working across the state.
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NEWS
February 5, 2011
I was happy to see the "school choice" article in today's Baltimore Sun ( "National movement for 'school choice' embraced in city," Feb. 3). Baltimore schools CEO Andrés Alonso and many of the charter schools in our city should be applauded for what they are doing and have accomplished. Certainly, more choice rather than less choice is beneficial to Baltimore City children and families looking for the best education that they can obtain. People interested in the topic of school choice should keep in mind that full and true "school choice" must allow parents to consider sending their children to non-public schools in our city as well as public schools.
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | April 5, 2014
When people speak of a legacy, they usually mean something other than what the late economist Milton Friedman and his wife, Rose, left behind, namely the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (edchoice.org). The foundation has just released a small book entitled " The ABC's of School Choice : The comprehensive guide to every private school choice program in America. " The Friedman philosophy can be summed up in two sentences, which are posted on their web page: "School choice gives parents the freedom to choose their children's education, while encouraging healthy competition among schools to better serve families' needs.
NEWS
January 11, 2013
James Campbell's idea of K-12 school reform is to take three colossal failures in top-down education management and double-down on them ("Three Steps for better schools," Jan. 8). Rewriting the No School Left Behind Act will only further kill local initiative and innovation after either congressional reauthorization or Obama backdoor lawmaking via "waivers" results in still even more oppressive mandates being heaped on local schools. Pouring federal taxpayer money into universal implementation of the Common Core standards will yield no improvement in student achievement, as a Brookings Institution study showed with fact and logic.
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | September 15, 2012
"There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time. " -- Calvin Coolidge, responding to the 1919 Boston police strike This oft-quoted line from the then-governor of Massachusetts might be updated to include "the public interest" as well as public safety. There are few matters of public interest greater than educating the next generation. Chicago public school teachers who went on strike Monday have struck against the public interest, placing self-interest in difficult economic times ahead of children.
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | April 5, 2014
When people speak of a legacy, they usually mean something other than what the late economist Milton Friedman and his wife, Rose, left behind, namely the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (edchoice.org). The foundation has just released a small book entitled " The ABC's of School Choice : The comprehensive guide to every private school choice program in America. " The Friedman philosophy can be summed up in two sentences, which are posted on their web page: "School choice gives parents the freedom to choose their children's education, while encouraging healthy competition among schools to better serve families' needs.
NEWS
By Howell S. Baum | December 29, 2010
"Choice" is a common mantra in school reform today. Some reformers talk as if just letting families choose schools will somehow improve education. Because school reform is a hard and urgent problem, we look for quick fixes. Some — especially non-educators, who do not know what curriculum, teaching methods or classroom organization would work — ignore the substance of education and focus, instead, on the process of assigning children to schools: replace school system control with parental choice.
NEWS
September 13, 2012
Conservative columnist Marta Mossburg's Sept. 13 article "City's schoolchildren deserve a real choice" prompts a question for her about her advocacy for using taxpayer money to pay for kids to go to private schools. When she says a "real choice," does she mean it? How about the choice for Baltimore City kids to go to better public schools in surrounding counties? Or is she just interested in boosting private schools and undermining public ones? Back in 1995 David Rusk wrote a book called "Baltimore Unbound" in which he pointed out that the decades of white and middle class black flight from cities has left concentrations of poor African American families behind, where children grow up in a world very different from the one we're accustomed to in the suburbs.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2011
Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the site Saturday of a contest waged not with bats, balls and gloves but test scores, curriculum overviews and student testimonials. It was the annual school choice fair for Baltimore City public schools. Students and staff from 64 middle schools and high schools set up shop to woo fifth- and eighth-graders who will soon choose where to attend next year. School officials said that nearly 15,000 people came to the event on the stadium's club-level concourse, triple the number of attendees last year.
NEWS
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | November 17, 2013
Those familiar with my life story understand my emotional approach to educational opportunity - particularly where the story line ends in opportunity denied. Simply put, I got lucky at a tender age. Enough athletic and academic prowess, in addition to scholarship aid, gave me the opportunity to attend excellent schools. These institutions set me on a successful path; each afforded me unlimited opportunities and important relationships that I have taken advantage of throughout my life.
NEWS
By Kalman R. Hettleman | October 20, 2013
Diane Ravitch is all the rage in education circles these days, but rage, unfortunately, is what's she's selling. There are many reasons why, despite decades of efforts, U.S. public schools continue to fail, especially for low-income and minority children. Perhaps the most destructive one is the polarization of the debate over school reform and the refusal of opposing factions to look for middle ground. Sad to say, Ms. Ravitch's new best-selling book, "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools," fits this pattern.
NEWS
May 17, 2013
In their commentary ("Six steps for post-Alonso school reform," May 14), Thomas Wilcox, Diane Bell-McKoy and Laura Gamble use many lofty and idealistic sounding words to promote their vision. However, it bears noting that education "reformers" are well-versed in using terms that have an appeal, yet bear little substance. It's part of the script to sell the public on a model for education that actually requires a deeper analysis and understanding. Words like "choice" and "accountability" have done for the corporate-model of education reform what buzz words like "whole grain" and "real fruit juice" have done for the food processing industry.
NEWS
By Thomas E. Wilcox, Diane Bell-McKoy and Laura Gamble | May 13, 2013
While Baltimore schools CEO Andrés Alonso deserves thanks for six game-changing years in Baltimore, the transformation he presided over owes as much to the vision and resolve of a city school board that insisted on fostering choice and accountability while also investing more in the schools. The board must now stay the course on institutional reform and move forward with an even sharper focus on academic achievement. First, it should maintain a strict focus on the core principles of our turnaround: school choice and the "fair student funding" that undergirds this market-oriented approach to opening and closing schools.
NEWS
May 6, 2013
Baltimore schools CEO Andrés Alonso's resignation at the end of this academic year is a major blow to a city whose trajectory he helped change. There can be little doubt that the energetic and rapid reforms he implemented in the city's long-struggling school system have set the stage for broader renewal and growth in Baltimore. But city leaders also need to look on his departure as a tremendous opportunity, a chance to bring in a new superintendent who will build on Mr. Alonso's successes.
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | April 6, 2013
My first question after reading about seven teachers in an Atlanta, Ga., public school accused of altering standardized test scores to make it appear students performed better than they actually did was: How could they!? The seven were nicknamed "the chosen" and, according to Georgia state investigator Richard Hyde, the less than magnificent seven sat in a locked room without windows, erasing wrong answers and inserting correct ones. It's one thing for a child to cheat on a test; it's quite another for teachers to do it. Compounding the cheating scandal is that the children in this elementary school are mostly poor and African-American.
NEWS
February 7, 2011
In your Feb. 3 article "School choice finds a welcome in Baltimore," much respectful attention is paid to critics of school choice like Diane Ravitch, who is quoted as complaining that choice programs "introduce friction into districts, splitting communities as parents battle over space and who gets to which schools. " This reminds me of my mother's reason for depriving my young, hungry self and my five siblings of goodies such as cherries and chocolate ice cream: "Ten minutes after I bring it in the house, you guys just eat it up and there is nothing left.
NEWS
January 11, 2013
James Campbell's idea of K-12 school reform is to take three colossal failures in top-down education management and double-down on them ("Three Steps for better schools," Jan. 8). Rewriting the No School Left Behind Act will only further kill local initiative and innovation after either congressional reauthorization or Obama backdoor lawmaking via "waivers" results in still even more oppressive mandates being heaped on local schools. Pouring federal taxpayer money into universal implementation of the Common Core standards will yield no improvement in student achievement, as a Brookings Institution study showed with fact and logic.
NEWS
By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun | December 15, 2012
Terrell Carr and his mother, Niesha Carr, have loved his experience at William C. March Middle School. From the Arabic classes in which he's excelled to the quality of the instruction, both have nothing but good things to say about the school. And they are disappointed that it might close at the end of the year. "It's kind of sad because it's the best school I've ever been to," said Terrell, a 13-year-old seventh-grader who was attending the fifth annual Baltimore City Public Schools Middle and High School Choice Fair, which brought the system's 64 middle and high schools together Saturday to showcase their offerings for parents and students.
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