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Newswire – July 24, 2018

JUST THE FACTS…OR NOT. A NY Times op-ed, “A Plea for a Fact-Based Debate About Charter Schools,” would appear to make a compelling case for reasoned discussion on charter schools but there are some glaring holes in the piece that make it less reasonable than it seems. For example, there is no mention of the value of charters as drivers of innovation, nor does it point out the options and opportunities charters offer parents and children. Then there’s this blanket, off-base assessment: “[Charter] schools have their downsides…disciplinary policies can be severe…The schools also rely on hard-working, moderately paid young teachers, many of whom can’t make a career of the work.”  We’re all for a fact-based debate, but it first requires that one stick to the facts.

POLITICAL MACHINACTIONS IN AZ. An op-ed, titled “School choice advocates shouldn’t assume a favorable political climate in Arizona. There are some ill winds blowing” provides a valuable assessment of the political goings-on in the Grand Canyon State. The state’s voucher program faces a dilemma as a ballot issue – which has the program losing either way – and a push to get rid of the procurement exemption for charter schools – which is one of the driving forces behind the hugely successful Arizona charter movement – is also in jeopardy. Both are worrisome developments and serve as a cautionary tales for education reformers everywhere.

AND ANOTHER OPINION OF NOTE. The headline from the Las Vegas Review-Journal says it all, or at least most of it: “To attract better teachers to low-performing schools, reform union pay structure.” Another on-point observation from the commentary:  “…once again, the problem can be traced to the one-size-fits-all socialized pay structure that has long dominated teacher compensation thanks to union politics.” As we often say in these cases, “Amen.”

THIS JUST IN. “NEA Budget Cuts Don’t Include Executives’ Salaries.” Need we say more?

HOW TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR. A well-crafted, succinct, to-the-point letter to the Seattle Times from local resident Morton Kondrake. “Charter schools: Good for Washington.”

IT JUST NEVER ENDS. Turns out they’re stacking the deck against charter schools in the City of Brotherly Love. Apparently, although not surprisingly, the Philly school district is using its new Charter School Performance Framework to measure charter school quality, while completely ignoring the same standards when assessing the performance of district-operated public schools. Outrageous.

IN A MORE COOPERATIVE VEIN. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is hosting a bipartisan innovation forum and showcase tomorrow on Capitol Hill. The event will highlight the work of 24 innovators who are running education and workforce development programs in their communities and will reflect a key element of CER’s mission: bringing innovation and opportunity to America’s education system. Tomorrow beginning at 10:00 a.m., 2175 Rayburn House Office Building with the showcase in the Rayburn Foyer.



INTERN AT CER. Are you ready to transform U.S. education? Do you want to gain knowledge about education policy and put that into practice to create better education opportunities for all children? Do you have a knack for research and strong writing and communication skills? If so you might be a great fit to intern at CER! Learn more and apply here.