|7-19-17 Education in the News|
Star Ledger--How the original purpose of charter schools is working in Newark | Opinion
It's often noted that the original vision for charter schools, championed by legendary teachers' union leader Al Shanker and others, was that they'd be "laboratories of innovation" whose lessons could inform the broader system. It hasn't worked out that way. Instead, the relationship between charters and district schools has been acrimonious and competitive. But in Newark, quietly, with little fanfare, a course is being charted back to that original vision.
In recent years, some districts have attempted to improve charter and district collaboration, but efforts often don't go much beyond public relations. But Newark -- under the leadership of Mayor Ras Baraka, schools Superintendent Chris Cerf, and the school board, which should soon assume control of the city schools after two decades of state control -- has found a way to forge authentic charter/district collaboration where it really counts: at the teacher-to-teacher level.
By Charles Sahm| Updated on July 18, 2017 at 11:47 AM Posted on July 18, 2017 at 10:54 AM
[N.B.: Charles Sahm is director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute, “a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.”]
Education Week--Why Betsy DeVos and ALEC Are Natural Allies on School Choice
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—an ardent school choice supporter who has turned out to be among the Trump administration’s most polarizing cabinet picks—will deliver a speech this week to members of a controversial organization that some argue is her best shot at advancing an aggressive school choice agenda.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is known for drafting conservative model legislation in states on a range of issues including gun rights, tax reform, and education. DeVos will appear at ALEC’s annual meeting Thursday in Denver.
Ask a conservative, and they’re likely to describe ALEC as a membership organization that brings together private industry leaders and Republican state lawmakers to draft soundly conservative policies. Ask a liberal, and they’re likely to say ALEC is a shadowy group of corporate types pushing a destructive, far-right agenda.
But regardless of political persuasion, there are two points most would agree on: ALEC is successful at influencing policy in statehouses, and its focus on private school choice dovetails perfectly with DeVos’ education priorities.
Arianna Prothero| July 18, 2017
Garden State Coalition of Schools