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December 19, 2003

High Schools: Need for Alternatives

Indicators of serious problems in high schools continue to pop up like secrets that cannot be suppressed. Now the National Research Council of the National Academies (probably the nation's most prestigious and unbiased organization) has published, Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students' Motivation to Learn, a report showing a grim picture of high schools unlikely to surprise teachers in even the best of schools that high school students lack any sense of purpose or real connection with what they are doing in the classroom. You can order the book or read it on line.
This is mindful of a book, Another Planet by Elinor Burkett descibing an existing successful suburban high school in which the author spent a year documenting that for students, high school is another planet.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 08:28 PM

December 16, 2003

International Study of Educational Choices

Implementing Education for All: Moving from Goals to Action from The Mackinac Center for Public Policy describes the efforts to provide universal primary education in all nations by 2015. Choices of public and private schools and their reach have fallen far short of meeting the goal. Increasing private forms of education with governmental subsidies, as a number of countries currently do, may retard the growth of public education but nonetheless produce better results. This report references other important studies in international education.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 07:12 PM

Charter Schools Study

A new report, Charter Schools Today: Changing the Face of American Education, by The Center for Education Reform describes the charter school movement in 24 states. The report says, "In 24 states that offer good data, charters have
made notable gains, particularly in serving a wide spectrum of students. In addition to serving 'average' populations, charters are serving exceptionally well children of color, children with special needs and huge numbers of poor children. More importantly, parents of these students report high satisfaction with the education their children are finally receiving." Descriptions are of programs in these states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NY, NC, PA, SC, TX, UT, WI.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 05:51 PM

December 05, 2003

Choices: State by State

A new report by the Heritage Foundation, School Choice 2003: How States Are Providing Greater Opportunity In Education provides a detailed and even-handed account of each state showing the kinds of choices and their history of alternatives over time. This remarkable book is 260 pages of valuable and reliable data on choices state by state! It's downloadable.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:20 PM

December 03, 2003

Choices in Wisconsin

Several references to alternatives or choices have popped up in Wisconsin. One is about online schools or virtual schools and controversy surrounding their approval. Another is a study, Charter Schools in Wisconsin: Assessing Form and Performance by Dr. John Witte of the University of Wisconsin addressing to what degree charter schools are offering additional choices to parents and determining their performance. Another article, Public Charter Schools: The Next Generation of Innovation suggests that charter Schools offer considerable promise to support new approaches ot schooling.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:12 AM