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January 31, 2004

Recent Reports on Vouchers and Educational Choices

"Evaluation of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program: 1998-2002" by the Indiana Center for Evaluation presents the accumulated findings of a four-year study of Cleveland's voucher program.

As part of a recently passed spending bill, the U.S. Congress created a publicly funded voucher program for the District of Columbia. The bill provides $13 million to cover vouchers of up to $7,500 for at least 1,700 children once the program is phased in. Children in families whose household income does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty line will receive priority.

The Brookings Institution established the National Working Commission on Choice in K-12 Education to explore how CHOICE works and to examine how communities interested in the potential benefits of new school options. The commission's report, entitled "School Choice: Doing It the Right Way Makes a Difference," explores choice in terms of four key issues: benefits to children whose parents choose new schools; benefits to children whose families do not exercise choice; effects on the national commitment to equal opportunity and school desegregation; and advancement of social cohesion and common democratic values.



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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:13 AM

National Charter Schools Conference

The U. S. Dept. of Education will sponsor the 4th National Charter Schools Conference in Miami Beach, FL, June 16-18 at the Fountainebleau Hilton Hotel. The conference page provides registration and other information.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 08:41 AM

January 28, 2004

Cyber Schools

Cyber schools, also called virtual schools or online schools, may be the fastest growing alternative, estimated at 60 schools nationally and perhaps serving 50,000 students according to a new report, Cyber and Home School Charter Schools: How States are Defining New Forms of Public Schooling by Luis A. Huerta of Teachers College, Columbia University. The report discusses policy issues of "non-classroom based" schools in classic "clicks" vs. "bricks" models.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:34 AM

January 11, 2004

Book Report

Saving Our Students, Saving Our Schools: 50 Proven Strategies for Revitalizing At-Risk Students and Low-Performing Schools Robert Barr and William Parrett developed this 500 page comprehensive guide to school improvement. Chapter 8, for example, "Create Caring Classrooms, Schools and Communities of Support" suggest four key strategies, action steps, references, and a reflection page. (2003, Pearson, Skylight).

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:52 AM

Residential Schools

Seed School (real name, Schools for Educational Evolution and Development), a residential boarding charter secondary school for at-risk students in Washington, DC has received a great deal of publicity for its success. The program provides students a high degree of structure and academic rigor. It claims a high success in turning around the lives of its students.

Core, an organization has information on starting residential boarding schools for at-risk students, a likely area of growth for alternative education in the future according to Ray Morley with the Iowa Department of Education (rcmorley@cheerful.com) where a recent study indicated that more than 4,000 adolescents need alternative living arrangements.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:16 AM

Risk of Dropping Out of School

Jack Frymier and others constructed a table showing the family, personal, and academic risk factors that have a high correlation with dropping out of school. You can view this excellent but brief chart.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:03 AM

Education Revolution Conference

The Alternative Education Resource Organization will celebrate its 15th year of operation with a conference at The Russell Sage College at Troy, New York, June 25-27, 2004. Headed by Jerry Mintz, AERO provides a great source of information about alternative education around the globe. Consider joining to gain access to an excellent database, particularly about democratic and progressive schools. Consider, also their upcoming conference this summer. AERO also provides a listserv for IALA.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:36 AM