Posts Tagged ‘school choice’

Beacon Calls for More Educational Freedom in Tennessee

Beacon Calls for More Educational Freedom in Tennessee

It is time for Tennessee to embrace the hope that school choice offers to families across our state. Parents with children from all walks of life, economic conditions, and ethnicities have banded together in support of greater educational opportunities. Not only do opportunity scholarships provide new pathways to higher achievement, but they also create more resources for children in our public education system. In fact, Tennessee’s opportunity scholarships are a tide that lifts all boats. In a sea of change with innovative methods of learning on the horizon, Tennessee parents deserve the freedom to explore the education frontier and choose the academic path that best suits their child.

Below are the contents of our education reform package, a comprehensive plan for school choice in Tennessee:

Special Report: Allowing Children to Dream Big - In our school choice options bookletBeacon Senior Fellow Jonathan Butcher puts school choice success stories, available educational options, and application instructions in the hands of Tennessee families.

Policy Report: Saving Education - Our recent study shows that a voucher program would not just benefit students leaving the public school system, but also students staying in public schools.

Faces of Freedom: The Choice is Ours - Beacon believes every child deserves a good education, and the only way to achieve that goal is through school choice.

Opinion: Stupid Is as Stupid Does: We Need to Save Education - Beacon Director of Policy Lindsay Boyd explains that choice is the real solution to save education.

Infographic: School Choice – These graphics show the broad support for school choice among different demographic groups and how Tennessee stacks up to neighboring states when it comes to school choice options.

Click the graphic below for exclusive school choice content. You will need a password to access this section.

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October 15th, 2014 | Feature, Policy

Beacon Releases New School Choice Options Booklet

Beacon Releases New School Choice Options Booklet

The Beacon Center of Tennessee has just released “Allowing Children to Dream Big,” a booklet that gives parents all the available options to provide their children with the education that they deserve.  You can download the booklet here. 

In addition to showing parents the educational options they currently have, the booklet also analyzes Tennessee’s school choice options relative to other states. Unfortunately, while families who have exercised choice have had tremendous success, options for Tennessee families are still limited.

While Tennessee policymakers debate additional school choice measures such as opportunity scholarships, other states across the country are providing robust choice programs for their students.

“We hope every Tennessee family eventually has chance to give their child the quality education he or she deserves,” said Beacon Center CEO Justin Owen. “In the meantime, this booklet represents the first step at laying out those options for families, so that they can choose the right educational environment for their child.”

October 8th, 2014 | Feature, Policy

Uber and School Choice: Modern Fights for Freedom

Uber and School Choice: Modern Fights for Freedom

Many may wonder what Uber and educational choice proponents have in common. After all, one is fighting with transportation bureaucracies for the right to provide its popular service in cities across the country. The other consists of parents, children, educators, politicians, and advocates who are calling upon the education system to loosen the chains that rely on ZIP codes as a basis for determining a child’s school. While these are two seemingly distinct sectors of our society, the principles at play are one and the same.

James C. Courtovich’s recent piece in the Wall Street Journal examines the similarities between both movements, which are essentially attempting to do the same thing: loosen the grip of a monopolistic, heavily regulated entity, and put the power of choice in the hands of the individual.

He sums it up perfectly:

When President Lyndon Johnson announced the creation of the Transportation Department 48 years ago this month, he said that one of the agency’s goals would be to “bring new technology to every mode of transportation.” Nearly half a century later, Uber is doing just that, allowing customers to order and pay for trips on their smartphone. Satisfied passengers, drivers and investors are singing Uber’s tagline: Choice is a Beautiful Thing.

But choice threatens entrenched interests like cabdrivers, who are deploying intimidation tactics and red tape to protect their turf. An Uber driver I rode with recently in Miami told me that he’d received two $1,000 tickets in as many days for picking up passengers at the airport.

Those of us who have been on the front lines of the school choice battle know the parallels are unmistakable—despite how popular school choice is for families across the country, entrenched institutions still fight to keep educational choice out of reach for Tennessee families. Anti-choice activists have sued nearly every school choice program passed across the states.

In Milwaukee’s case, the Milwaukee Public School System (MPS) successfully blockaded high-performing private schools from expanding to accommodate the large waiting lists of students who attempted to exit the massively failing public school system for the hope of a better education. This video is a shocking testimony of the abusive power of MPS and how little the district truly cares about the quality of a child’s learning environment.

Uber and school choice both represent a modern-day story of David and Goliath. Each is a popular, citizen-driven answer to market demand. Both give the power of choice to the individual. Yet, both must stand up against robust and entrenched institutions bent on their destruction. Their battles may be for different opportunities, but they fight a common enemy with a common mission: protect the status quo from the threat of a free market.

-Lindsay Boyd

September 30th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

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