Education Reform

Too often, the traditional public-school model fails students and teachers. Charter schools, scholarship tax credits, and merit pay are giving students a better education and teachers a better career.

<p>Too often, the traditional public-school model fails students and teachers. Charter schools, scholarship tax credits, and merit pay are giving students a better education and teachers a better career. </p>

Our nation faces a crucial dilemma: postsecondary education is increasingly a requisite to meaningful participation in an information economy, but college costs are skyrocketing, placing such education out of financial reach for many. If we do nothing to solve the problem at the front end, we will face a Hobson's choice of importing increasing numbers of college-educated workers from abroad, outsourcing professional jobs, or increasing taxpayer subsidies to college students.

PHOENIX A key attorney involved in an anti-preference ballot measure says that if it becomes law, he'll use it to try to end the admissions policies at the magnet schools in the Tucson Unified School District.

Clint Bolick said the initiative clearly would make it illegal for any government agency to use race in its decision-making process. That's exactly what's happening when minority students are denied admission to certain schools, he said.

The article on this initiative to ban racial and ethnic preferences in public education, contracting and employment could leave the impression is an attack on Affirmative action. Not so.

When California banned preferences, university officials responded with efforts such as providing tutors to inner-city youngsters to boost their academic performance so they could be admitted on their merits rather than skin color. That is true affirmative action.

Questions over the long-term effectiveness of Head Start and debates over the research into it are almost as old the program itself.

As early as 1969, an educational testing and data-reporting organization called the Westinghouse Learning Corp. conducted the first major evaluation of the program, finding that the cognitive and language gains seen among Head Start participants at 1st grade had disappeared by 2nd or 3rd grade.

But critics argued with the study's design, saying the comparison group may not have been as disadvantaged as the children in Head Start.

The complexity of Arizona public school finance makes gathering basic information extremely difficult

There's something about our nation's capital that converts many leading Democrats to school choice. Perhaps it's the glimpse that Washington, D.C. affords into inner-city public schools.

But in most cases this appreciation of school choice extends only to their own children -- and not to the millions of children in failing public schools. Indeed, a nearly perfect correlation exists among Democratic presidential candidates who have exercised school choice for their own children and those who would deny such choices to the parents of other children.

This month marks the fifth anniversary of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the key education initiative of the Bush administration. Is it time to renew our vows, or go our separate ways?

Current federal law requires public schools to test students against state developed standards, and rank the performance of schools according to the results. Schools failing to make adequate progress face losing federal funds.

So what's the problem? It isn't working.

There's much to consider about kindergarten plan

Congratulations are in order to Gov. Janet Napolitano. Most people would take a celebratory pause after a landslide re-election, but I'd be surprised if our governor did.

In a sense, Napolitano's greatest race has only just begun: a race to establish her legacy before the clock runs out.

Napolitano's first term will be remembered as a time of strong economic growth. Revenue poured into the treasury, letting lawmakers increase spending and cut taxes simultaneously.

Advocates for school district consolidation are gearing up to press their issue in the next legislative session. But theres a bigger, better question: Do we still need school districts at all?

The consolidation issue is a perennial. It makes intuitive sense that we have too many school districts, with more than 200 in the state, 54 in Maricopa County alone. Many believe economies of scale could be realized and administrative costs reduced with fewer school districts.

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