Top Five 'Charters & Choice' Stories of 2014
To wrap up 2014, I've rounded up the top five most popular posts on the Charters & Choice blog. As I look back at the year through the lens of this blog's most clicked-on stories, one theme is hard to ignore: the people seem to love school choice scandals.
So here they are, Charters & Choice's top five stories:
Charter school authorizing, caps, and performance-based closures are among six policy areas getting growing attention in state charter school laws, according to a policy brief released by the Education Commission of the States in July. Authorizing policies make up half the trends highlighted in the report.
The group, headed by Sabrina Stevens, a former teacher and American Federation of Teachers staffer, is focusing on exposing connections between K-12 public education and for-profit education companies and countering arguments laid out by groups promoting free-market reforms for education such as StudentsFirst and Chiefs for Change.
More than 60 percent of survey respondents said they favored charter schools in the 46th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Towards the Public Schools. The opposite was true for school vouchers, which two-thirds of respondents said they opposed. But when participants were quizzed in more detail about their knowledge of charter schools, often the majority of them got basic facts wrong.
The report appeared to be one of the first shots fired from Integrity in Education, a nonprofit formed last January that aims to expose corporate interests in public education, and is headed up by Sabrina Stevens, a former teacher and American Federation of Teachers staffer.
Wisconsin—the birthplace of modern vouchers—denied vouchers to 50 private schools for failure to meet requirements related to financing, auditing, accreditation, and student safety. Over two-thirds of those schools had been open for no more than five years. Furthermore, the Wisconsin State Journal found that 11 participating schools had been booted from the voucher program after only a year of opening—and after costing $4.1 million collectively."