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.
PHOENIX-A Goldwater Institute report released today shows that minority students in predominantly white Arizona schools are significantly more likely to be placed in special education than their peers who attend predominantly minority schools. The analysis of new school-level data from the federal Office of Civil Rights shows Hispanic and American Indian males are labeled at a rate 64 percent higher in schools that are 75 percent or more white than in schools that are 25 percent or less white.
PHOENIX-Arizona's landmark School Tuition Tax Credit program helped 19,778 students attend schools of their choice in 2003, according to a report released last week by the Arizona Department of Revenue.
PHOENIX-Arizona's landmark School Tuition Tax Credit program ranked among the top two school choice programs in the nation in a March 15 report card released by the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation.
There is a growing body of literature comparing the effectiveness of charter schools and traditional public schools. No consensus has yet been reached, but there are persistent concerns that performance differences might be due to "better" students attending charter schools. Researchers must therefore first determine whether charter school students and traditional public school students are substantially different before they can attribute any achievement differences to the education provided by these schools.
PHOENIX-In a study released today by the Goldwater Institute, Human Resources Policy Corporation president Lewis C. Solmon and Pete Goldschmidt of the UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation provide strong evidence that the superior performance of Arizona charter school students is not the result of "creaming" the brightest students from traditional public schools. To the contrary, charter school students typically begin with lower test scores but show overall annual achievement growth roughly three points higher than traditional public school students.
Arizona's public education landscape offers a plethora of choices, from open public school enrollment to charter schools to private school scholarships funded by income tax credits. The one missing ingredient is school vouchers, which would provide private school opportunities to children whom the public schools are not serving well.
In November 2002, the Arizona Office of the Auditor General (OAG) released a report on school districts' administrative spending that found, on average, small school districts spent more per pupil than large districts. In response, the Arizona State Legislature established a commission to study the potential savings from statewide school district consolidation.
On May 11, 1993, Jack and Isabelle McVaugh and other prominent members of the Phoenix community held a press conference at Olympic boxer Michael Carbajal's gym, announcing the formation of Arizona School Choice Trust (ASCT). The privately funded scholarship program would give low-income students in Maricopa County the opportunity to attend private school. Within 10 days of announcing the scholarships, ASCT had 500 students on its waiting list.
Six years ago, Arizona policymakers created a revolutionary school choice program by allowing a $500 dollar-for-dollar income tax credit for contributions to organizations that give students scholarships to attend private elementary and secondary schools. In 2001, the Cato Institute published a study evaluating the first years of the program and analyzing its potential impact. This paper is a follow-up to that study, assessing the recent trends in the program, its impact on Arizona's educational system, and identifying potential reforms.
PHOENIX-At a policy forum releasing two new Goldwater Institute reports on Arizona's scholarship tax credit program, Sen. Mark Anderson (R-Mesa), Rep. John Huppenthal (R-Chandler), and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks expressed support for expansion of the five-year-old program to allow businesses to make contributions. Education scholars Carrie Lukas and Dan Lips described the successes of the program, which last year generated $26 million from 50,000 taxpayers.