Sunday, July 17, 2016

Republicans and education — where they’ve been and where they’re going

Republicans and education — where they’ve been and where they’re going:

Republicans and education — where they’ve been and where they’re going

What effect will Trump have on education policy? No one knows

In the last 20 years, Republican education policy has focused on expanding the choices granted to local communities, families and students. Where it will go next, with Donald Trump the presumptive leader of the Republican Party, is anyone’s guess.

 “It’s hard to know what the heck [Trump] thinks,” said Fredrick Hess, director of education policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “I don’t think he has thought deeply or long about education policy.”

Last week, the Republican Platform Committee began to discuss what it thinks should be included in the “Great Families, Education, Health Care, and Criminal Justice” section of its 2016 Platform. Current points of agreement include the ideas that students are more likely to achieve academically if their parents are married heterosexuals, student data should be more private, and merit pay should be granted to high-performing teachers.
The party also agreed to leave in wording that would encourage states to offer the Bible as an elective literature course.
“I would remind the body that the first Congress of the United States in 1789 called for the distribution of Bibles to all school children in the United States at that time,” said Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State for Kansas. “This is an important principle that our founding fathers chose to embrace.”
The platform is supposed to be finalized and released this week, and so far seems to be focused on maintaining the party’s traditional emphasis on teaching moral values in public schools. That would be a marked change of tone from the recent past for conservatives generally and Republican Party lawmakers specifically, whose ideas about restoring parental control and increasing market-driven free choice have contributed much to the current education reform movement.

Conservative educators were behind the creation of charter schools, publicly funded schools with increased authority over how they are run and whom they hire. There are now more than 6,700 public charter schools in the country, serving more than 3 million students,according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Vouchers, which allow families to choose private providers and use their own portion of public funding to send their child to an institution of their choice, is another conservative policy initiative that first began to gain traction in the 1990s. While vouchers haven’t become widespread within the K-12 system, many states rely heavily on some sort of voucher program to subsidize early education for low-income families.
Many charter schools have proven to be fairly successful at helping their students achieve. Hess said it was more important to him to note that the best performing charters have long waitlists, which he sees as evidence that parents are now better able to choose where to Republicans and education — where they’ve been and where they’re going:

Big Education Ape: Koch Brothers’ Friends Funding Mike Pence | Hoosier School Heist Blog -
Big Education Ape: Schools Matter: The Real Story Behind Mike Pence’s Charter School Speech -
Big Education Ape: The bigot Mike Pence and his neighbor Bruce Rauner. | Fred Klonsky -
Big Education Ape: BREAKING NEWS - Trump goes with anti-public education running mate - Wait What? -
Big Education Ape: The big trouble in Indiana public schools, as explained by a troubled educator - The Washington Post -

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