The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Many respected national groups have recently set their sights on school choice as the new battlefront for disability rights. They are anywhere from open to highly skeptical to adamantly opposed to charter schools and private school choice, often aligning with teachers unions to try to block new proposals or to re-regulate existing policies.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In their efforts to expand school choice, city leaders have good intentions and lofty ambitions. They want to allow for diverse approaches to education, offering schools and programs that meet the demands and interests of a wide variety of students and families. They want to give both students and educators the opportunity to find their best fit. They want all children to have the chance to attend any school in the city, even if it isn’t in their neighborhood.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

District budgets are badly strained when many of their schools are under-enrolled. This is one of the biggest reasons that districts with growing charter enrollment hit financial hurdles. Meanwhile, charter schools can’t expand without access to facilities, and in a growing number of cities, suitable facilities are in very short supply. Understandably, charter leaders bristle when they are blamed for budget woes that may be easily solved by consolidating under-enrolled schools.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The portents of market failure—things like inadequate information and a lack of competition—are everywhere in public education. So, when it comes to school choice, government has an important role to play: reducing information asymmetries, bolstering accountability, and ensuring fairness. But the market for schooling also needs bottom-up, community action if it’s going to work for families in the real world. That point was evident at the recent Portfolio Network meeting hosted by CRPE in Camden, New Jersey.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rural America is not your grandparents’ heartland. Its population is getting older: 21 of the 25 oldest counties in the United States are rural. It’s no longer overwhelmingly white: One in five rural residents is a person of color, and more than four of five new rural residents are people of color.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

With the election of President Donald Trump and the appointment of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, it may seem like school choice is having its day, poised to gain momentum. But ask any educator or community leader in a city with lots of school choice already, and they’ll tell you choice alone isn’t enough.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This is the ninth installment in our series of "Notes From the Field" on personalized learning.


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