Politico reports on the latest news from school choice advocates:

 

 

 

STUDIES OF SCHOOL CHOICE: Two advocacy groups are out with papers today expounding on the benefits of school choice. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice says in its effort that more than a dozen empirical studies have found that school choice improves student outcomes. And nine out of 10 studies say school choice can improve racial segregation, moving students from more segregated schools into less segregated ones. The report: http://bit.ly/1TiRZzn. The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council is introducing three tools – peer reviews, branding and consumer reports – that parents can use to optimize education savings accounts. The paper: http://bit.ly/1TeOVcP.

 

 

Don’t expect to learn from either the Friedman Foundation (so-named for libertarian economist Milton Friedman, a voucher advocate) or ALEC (the far-right corporate-funded group that promotes deregulation of every government function) to say anything about Milwaukee. Milwaukee has had vouchers and charters for 25 years. There is no evidence that the children of Milwaukee have benefited by their choices. Despite the failure of choice to improve education, Governor Scott Walker wants to expand school choice and eliminate public schools altogether. The irony is that the students in public schools repeatedly have outperformed the students in choice schools, even though the public schools have a disproportionate share of students with disabilities and others that are not chosen by the choice schools. Chances are that Walker and the legislature will keep some public schools to use as a dumping ground for the students unwanted by the charters and voucher schools.

 

 

– On a related note: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation named the finalists for the 2016 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools today: Success Academy in New York and IDEA Public Schools and YES Prep Public Schools in Texas. The $250,000 award will be given to the best-performing charter management organization on June 27 at the National Charter Schools Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

 

 

Isn’t that great news? I am rooting for Eva and Success Academy charters. If she wins, she can use the money to buy a four-year supply of beanies or T-shirts for future political rallies. The $250,000 won’t be enough to pay for both. Or she can hire a private investigator to track down the high-level official inside her organization who leaked important documents to the media, including the internal report that alleged cheating, teacher churn, and central staff turnover.

 

The spending included $71,900 for the beanies and $62,795 for the T-shirts, according to receipts submitted to Success’s board of directors.