Michael Q. McShane is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI. He is the coeditor, with Frederick Hess, of "Common Core Meets Education Reform" (Teachers College Press, 2013). He is also the coauthor of "President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012). His analyses have been published widely in technical journals and reports including Education Finance and Policy. He has contributed to more popular publications such as Education Next, The Huffington Post, National Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He began his career as an inner-city high school teacher in Montgomery, Alabama.
Education has the potential to open incredible doors to opportunity. Yet despite unprecedented levels of public school funding, far too many students in America never enjoy the benefits that can result from a high-quality education.
It seems unlikely that Republicans are going to abandon their commitment to private school choice, and rightly so. The moral and conceptual cases are strong. But if the actual outcomes from school-choice programs fail to live up to the rhetoric or the theory, the disappointment risks derailing the pursuit of greater educational opportunities for millions of American children.
As school choice grows around the country, there are increasing calls for the prongs to twist into each other, with schools of choice (and the teachers within them) being held to the same or similar benchmarks as their counterparts in traditional public schools. Is this the right approach?
At the end of this school year, Saint Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery, Alabama will close its doors forever. The 70-years-old Catholic school announced that it no longer could subsidize its 7th to 12th grade students.
The embattled Common Core effort took another hit this week, when comedian Louis CK unleashed a 12-tweet rant. The 46-year-old father of two, who has more than 3 million twitter followers and is featured on the cover of May’s GQ, ridiculed several test questions and blamed the Common Core for teaching his kids to hate math.