July 11, 2009

Points of View - Private Schools, Charter Schools, Searches

I hope that everyone is in the midst of a relaxing and enjoyable summer (I know my wife is). Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading the recent posts, done some thinking, and started on a plan to get organized this summer. I also want to thank everyone for the various comments that have been e-mailed to me. It is always good to hear what other people think about my posts, and if you wish, you can e-mail me at rschultz@rollinsfinancial.com.

Along those lines, I wanted to share some of the recent editorials I have read regarding education. They are all worth a read, and the last is one of the more interesting ones just because it discusses a student strip search (that I cannot believe someone thought was a good idea). In any event, I welcome you to read all of them and enjoy.

Learning Lessons From Private Schools - The Economist - "The right and wrong ways to get more poor youngsters into the world’s great universities."

Charter Schools Win a High-Profile Convert - By Jon Keller - The Wall Street Journal - "Tom Menino, the longtime Democratic mayor of this (Boston) city, is not known for rocking the boat or for eloquence. But earlier this month he stunned many in the city when he gave a powerful speech about school reform. The speech took aim at the lack of progress in dozens of low-performing, inner-city Boston public schools, many of which have not met adequate yearly progress for five years running."

Lessons for Failing Schools - The New York Times - "The $100 billion education stimulus package gives Education Secretary Arne Duncan unprecedented leverage to energize the languishing school reform effort. Mr. Duncan has said from the start that he wants the states to transform about 5,000 of the lowest-performing schools, not in a piecemeal fashion but with bold policies that have an impact right away. The argument in favor of a tightly focused effort aimed at these schools is compelling. We now know, for example, that about 12 percent of the nation’s high schools account for half the country’s dropouts generally — and almost three-quarters of minority dropouts. A plan that fixed these schools, raising high school graduation and college-going rates, would pay enormous dividends for the country as a whole."

A Union Promotion - The Wall Street Journal - "Since taking over in 1998, she has done everything she could to block significant reforms to New York's public schools. Take her opposition to charter schools. She resisted raising the state cap on charters from 100 unless the union could organize them. (She lost and the cap now is 200.)"

An Unreasonable Search - The New York Times - "In an important victory for students’ rights, the Supreme Court ruled, 8-to-1, Thursday that school officials acted unconstitutionally when they strip searched a 13-year-old girl. The majority was too willing to find that in this particular case the officials involved were immune from liability. But the decision still sends an important message to schools about the need to respect their students’ privacy when they conduct investigations."

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