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>

Proposition 203, "First Things First," was designed to be popular. But should it be? It strengthens government's role in the upbringing of young children, at the expense of parents. And it's funded with a regressive, unstable tax.

Darcy Olsen is interviewed by Channel 12's Tram Mai regarding newly enacted school choice programs.

We can't spend our way out of this problem.

Total education funding now consumes more than 60 percent of Arizona's general fund. But there is no pleasing some.

John Wright, president of the Arizona Education Association, says the bi-partisan budget deal "represents a monumental missed opportunity." Despite receiving a nearly half billion dollar funding increase for public k-12 schools, Mr. Wright argues that still more spending is necessary.

What I remember most about preschool were the waffle patterned wafer cookies. You can still find them in the same three great flavors as always -- chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

Preschool has changed a lot since then. With childhood obesity on the rise, it's a safe bet that cookies are getting harder to come by. Building blocks and Lincoln logs are giving way to Dora DVDs.

But the biggest change may be the sheer volume of kids trading in sippy cups for school desks. Preschool, once an `a la carte option, has become an educational must-have.

Keep teens enrolled by challenging them more, teaching them better, expecting them to perform at higher levels.

A recent Oprah "Special Report" and a Time magazine cover story exposed a shocking statistic -- nearly one in three U.S. students do not graduate from high school. One in three.

Prompting the coverage was "The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives on High School Dropouts," a report by Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Gates Foundation.

A recent Oprah Special Report and a Time magazine cover story exposed a shocking statistic " nearly one in three American students do not graduate from high school. One in three.

Prompting the coverage was The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives on High School Dropouts, a report by Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Gates Foundation.

The study, which detailed survey and focus-group responses of more than 500 dropouts nationwide, sought to determine why students drop out and what might help them complete their education.

In January 2005, the Goldwater Institute and the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation jointly produced A Guide to Understanding State Funding of Arizona Public School Students to bring simplicity, transparency, and accuracy to Arizona public school finance by detailing the underlying funding formulas and mechanisms. Like the 2005 study, this analysis examines updated financial data from the Arizona Department of Educations multiple accounting systems: the Uniform System of Financial Reporting (USFR), the Student Accountability Information System (SAIS), and the Superintendents Annual Financial Report (SAFR). This policy brief also describes the changes that have occurred in Arizona funding between the 2002-03 and 2003-04 fiscal years.

Why are some schools were successful than others? We all think we know. But the answers from a new study may surprise you.

The economics of higher education are badly out of whack.

Less than a third of Americans complete a college education. Doing so, on average, results in nearly a million dollars more in lifetime earnings. Yet taxpayers pick up the lion's share of the cost.

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