What Can Brown Do For You?

Posted on March 13, 2006
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“From the moment we entrust a package to an overnight delivery service, sophisticated technology tracks its every move. We can go on line the next morning and watch its progress toward the final destination. If something goes wrong, we know in an instant’"and can take immediate steps to address the problem.

Not so with something far more precious’"our children’s education. Too often we don’t know until long after the school year how well our children are moving toward their “destination.” Imagine how helpful it would be if all teachers could monitor student learning in real time’"so they could respond to learning problems as they occur.

The technology and systems exist. But most schools still don’t have access to such tools. Which raises some troubling questions about priorities.

Something to think about.”

As this ad suggests, Edison Schools is a private education company working to make sure every student reaches his destination. By way of comparison, just 71 percent of U.S. public school students graduated from high school with a regular diploma at last count. Worse still, only 34 percent of graduates are college-ready.

When parents have the option of enrolling their children in private schools, it’s a safe bet that fewer kids will be lost along the way. Students able to use vouchers to attend private schools in Milwaukee, for instance, have a graduation rate nearly twice as high as that of their peers in the city’s public schools.

A majority of Arizona voters and legislators support more school choice, but the governor says families have enough options. She has vetoed school choice several times, thwarting the will of voters and taking away options from students. Which raises some troubling questions about priorities.

Something to think about.

Key Links:

-Goldwater Institute: "Survey Shows Majority of Arizonans Endorse School Choice: Support Strong for Current School Choice Proposals and for Pro-school Choice Candidates"
-Manhattan Institute: "Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991’"2002" 
-Edison Schools

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