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March 12, 2015
Former NBA star talks school choice at Capitol
Former UT and NBA basketball star Allan Houston spent Thursday on a different court of play to advocate in Nashville for school choice options.
March 9, 2015
Shelby County commissioners pass resolution against private school vouchers
The Shelby County Commission opposes legislative proposals that would introduce a private school voucher system in Tennessee.
March 5, 2015
The basics of everything: Your guide to education issues in Indiana
Few states can match the Hoosier state for the wide variety of efforts to change the way students learn, or for the level of drama and discord that has accompanied those efforts.
March 3, 2015
Private school voucher bill sails through House subcommittee
After hearing an impassioned plea from a father and fellow state lawmaker from Memphis, a House subcommittee advances a bill that would enact a school voucher system in Tennessee.
February 26, 2015
Memphis pastors present petition supporting school voucher legislation
A group of Memphis pastors with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference present a petition supporting a school voucher bill at the State Capitol.
February 25, 2015
As vouchers grow, more suburban students are attending private schools
Carmel and Hamilton Southeastern — two of the state's wealthiest districts — both saw strong jumps in the number of children who use publicly-funded vouchers.
February 24, 2015
Senate defeats civics test bill, grapples with future of ISTEP
A bill proposing all students pass a civics test was defeated in the Senate after receiving support in both the Senate Education and Senate Appropriations committees.
February 24, 2015
Big jump in voucher use for students who never tried public school
Students using the voucher program — the largest and fastest-growing of its kind in the nation — now account for 2.6 percent of Indiana's school system, up from 1.8 percent last year.
February 20, 2015
Rise & Shine: Will snow days be another ISTEP challenge?
February 19, 2015
Pence hails charter schools, vouchers at school choice rally
Gov. Mike Pence told a gathering of children from charter and private schools today that education can take them where they want to go in life, as it did for his family.
February 16, 2015
Ritz rallies supporters against efforts to limit her power at Statehouse
Gov. Mike Pence, Republican legislators and his appointed State Board of Education's refusal to respect Ritz's authority as state superintendent — including targeting her in several bills this year aimed at removing her from leading the Indiana State Board of Education — is what prompted the Indiana Coalition for Public Education to plan the rally.
February 11, 2015
Diane Ravitch takes aim at Ritz detractors on Indiana show
Diane Ravitch, a national critic of testing and accountability-based school reform, took aim at opponents of state Superintendent Glenda Ritz on a lndiana-based Internet radio talk show tonight.
February 11, 2015
Voucher bill passes Senate Education Committee
A bill that would permit low-income students in Tennessee to receive vouchers to attend private schools passes the Senate Education Committee with little debate.
February 4, 2015
Sen. Lamar Alexander: Let parents choose best school options for their children
A longtime proponent of school choice, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander calls for more federal programs that give parents the opportunity to choose schools they think best fit their children.
January 20, 2015
Meet the lawmakers who will serve as gatekeepers of state education policy
Expecting a bevy of education bills and responding to an intense interest in legislation that could affect Tennessee public schools, House Speaker Beth Harwell is expanding oversight of education proposals at the committee level.
January 13, 2015
Pence pushes more funding for school choice but not preschool
Gov. Mike Pence today called again on the legislature to make education its main focus this year during his State of the State address through…
January 9, 2015
Bosma: Voucher overpayments might merit tougher rules
But Bosma said he's "not prepared to say" whether voucher accountability should be a high priority in the just-underway legislative session.
January 9, 2015
Watch Indiana legislators, superintendents discuss school funding issues
Chalkbeat and WFYI brought key Indiana legislators and two school district superintendents together Thursday at the Indianapolis Public Library to talk about how to fund schools fairly in the state's next two-year budget and beyond.
December 10, 2014
Joe Hogsett looks to forge his own path on education
Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, who at least for the moment looks like the front runner to become mayor of Indianapolis in 2016, has made…
December 5, 2014
Pence's 2015 education plans on funding, flexibility raise questions
Pence's made waves with his bombshell announcement Thursday that he would dissolve the Center for Education and Career Innovation and ask lawmakers to reconsider Ritz's leadership post on the Indiana State Board of Education. But the rest of the education agenda that dominated his speech contained a half-dozen major new proposals to overhaul Indiana's system of school finance, again expand access to charter schools, provide more money for private school tuition vouchers and add a new program he called “freedom to teach,” giving the state board authority to grant waivers from some state regulations to school districts that want to try innovative ways to “focus resources on student learning.”
October 17, 2014
New guides push school choice for parents, families
A Nashville-based free-market think tank publishes a booklet aimed at helping parents navigate school choice options in Tennessee, but excludes traditional public schools from the mix.
October 15, 2014
At rally, Memphis activists push vouchers as civil rights issue
Voucher activists are largely focusing their organizing efforts in Memphis this year, where any proposed voucher bill in the 2015 legislative session would likely have a disproportionate impact. If several legislators have their way, vouchers would be given to low-income students at the state's lowest-performing schools, the majority of which are clustered in Memphis.
October 12, 2014
Q&A with Speaker Beth Harwell: Tennessee will probably develop own standards
Speaker of the House Beth Harwell spoke with Chalkbeat about her educational priorities, and the priorities of her constituents.
September 17, 2014
Indiana might be No. 1 in the U.S. for vouchers this year
Indiana’s private school tuition voucher program appears poised to become the nation’s largest this year. Preliminary data from the Indiana Department of Education shows 29,437…
July 22, 2014
Koch panel advocates for vouchers, elimination of Common Core
A group of conservative scholars and a charter school principal pushed for vouchers and urged Tennesseans to be wary of the Common Core standards during a…
July 17, 2014
Rise & Shine: SCS still working to fill teaching vacancies
July 14, 2014
Vouchers could transform Memphis, and one network of schools
Before the Achievement School District, before Tennessee allowed charter schools, before Memphis became “Teacher Town,” there were the Catholic Diocese of Memphis’ Jubilee Schools. The…
July 2, 2014
School choice group changes name, expands mission
School Choice Indiana, an organization that has advocated for charter schools and vouchers in Indiana since 2006, is transforming with a new name and…
June 19, 2014
Did vouchers cost Indiana $16 million? Estimate sparks debate
An Indiana Department of Education analysis of the state’s school voucher program released this week estimates it cost the state $16 million last year, but…
May 12, 2014
As Cristo Rey grows, so do student supports
Providence Cristo Rey high School in Indianapolis is a work in progress, but has learned some key lessons over seven years about how to help students with challenges to achieve academic and professional dreams some of them come in believing are only for wealthy suburban kids. It’s corporate partners, philanthropic supporters and a influx of public support through Indiana’s voucher program have also been central to the school’s effort to expand its support for students.
May 7, 2014
Behning wins easily despite primary campaign scare
Indiana’s House education committee chairman, who was concerned enough about a primary challenger to begin airing television ads in the campaign’s last week, won…
May 6, 2014
Key legislative education leader fighting for his political survival
A primary challenge to Indiana House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, has made Behning’s central role in changing education in the state over the past several years a centerpiece of his case against the incumbent. The unexpectedly close race has raised new questions about the political potency of a coalition of voters, spanning both political parties, that is increasingly skeptical of the sorts of reforms Behning is identified with.
April 15, 2014
Tennessee voucher bill removed from House calendar after Senate approval
A bill that would establish school vouchers in Tennessee has likely met its demise in the state’s House of Representatives, not long after the state’s…
March 17, 2014
Indiana legislature passes 31 education bills in 2014
Dumping Common Core and starting a preschool pilot were the top headlines for the legislature this year, but 2014 also brought a host…
March 17, 2014
Colorado Supreme Court will hear Dougco voucher case
Update: This article has been updated with comments from Dougco school board member Craig Richardson and from ACLU-Colorado legal director Mark Silverstein. Colorado’s highest court has…
March 13, 2014
Ailing preschool pilot program finds new life (updated)
New life was breathed into Gov. Mike Pence’s ailing preschool pilot program proposal under a deal forged by a committee of Democrats and Republicans from both legislative chambers. The pilot, stripped out of House Bill 1004 by Senate Republicans concerned about the program’s potential long term costs, was put back in and could even serve more kids than originally estimated.
March 11, 2014
Proposed voucher bill would have big implications for Memphis parents
Tennessee state legislators will vote Tuesday on a proposal that would offer so-called “Opportunity Scholarships,” also known as vouchers, to help children zoned to lowest-performing…
March 3, 2014
Education in the 2014 legislature: What's passed, dead and still waiting
Bills that still have yet to pass both houses of the Indiana Legislature have until today in the House and tomorrow in the Senate to make it through. Then lawmakers have until March 14 to iron out the differences between bills passed in the House and Senate and to approve the final versions of all bills. Here's where everything stands.
March 1, 2014
Ravitch tangles with school reformers on Butler panel
A lively, and sometimes pointed, debate about how best to improve schools followed the premiere of a documentary developed by the West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation tonight at Butler University. Headlining the five-person panel was Diane Ravitch, the historian and one-time school reform advocate turned national spokesman against testing, school choice, test-based teacher evaluation and other proposals she says aim to privatize public schools.
February 14, 2014
Survey: Voucher parents switched for better academics, religious environment
Parents who use a program that redirects tax dollars to pay private school tuition, helping make Indiana a national hotspot for vouchers, say they wanted…
February 7, 2014
Here are the 43 education bills still alive in the Indiana legislature
At the halfway point of the legislature’s 2014 session, there are quite a lot of education issues that have advanced across the statehouse for consideration in the other chamber. Chalkbeat will be tracking 43 education bills as they head to committees for consideration beginning next week.
January 30, 2014
Voucher schools don't get off the hook from ISTEP
A plan to allow private schools that accept students using tax-funded vouchers for tuition to skip ISTEP testing was dropped from a Senate bill today. But the ISTEP proposal was at the center of the controversy over the bill. It would have allowed voucher schools to use any nationally-normed test for state A to F accountability purposes, not just ISTEP.
January 27, 2014
New rules helping more Indiana children use vouchers
Changes to Indiana’s voucher program that lawmakers made in 2013 helped fuel it’s dramatic growth and allow somewhat more wealthy families to access tax dollars to pay private school tuition. The Indiana Department of Education's data, released today, show 19,809 students are using vouchers this school year, more than double last year's total of 9,324. The first-year number was 3,919. Indiana's voucher program is the fastest growing in U.S. history and the nation’s second largest.
Updated December 1, 2015
The basics of Tony Bennett: A reform star’s rise and fall
After pushing hard for educational change, Bennett faced a backlash.
January 22, 2014
Budget panel launches BEST oversight bill
The legislative Joint Budget Committee has unanimously approved introduction of a bill that would give the legislature greater control over part of the Building Excellent Schools Today program.
January 15, 2014
Gov. Bill Haslam to ponder school voucher program
The Memphis Business Journal reported this week that Gov. Bill Haslam will consider how to proceed on a possible school voucher program when the Tennessee…
December 22, 2013
Walton grant aims to double the number of vouchers nationally
The Walton Family Foundation will give $6 million to the Alliance for School Choice, a group that advocates and lobbies for school voucher programs…
December 19, 2013
Walton Foundation announces $6 million donation to voucher group
The new donation will more than double the Alliance for School Choice's financial resource.
December 19, 2013
Walton grant aims to double the number of vouchers nationally
Scenia Catholic High School is among the Indianapolis private schools that accept vouchers. (Scott Elliott) The Walton Family Foundation will give $6 million to the Alliance for School Choice, a group that advocates and lobbies for school voucher programs in states around the country, including Indiana, the foundation announced Tuesday. The goal of the investment is to double the number of students who use vouchers to attend private schools. The Alliance for School Choice says that approximately 300,000 students, including more than 20,000 Hoosiers, currently use vouchers to attend private schools.
November 8, 2013
Here’s a roundup of what educators and politicians are saying about NAEP
There was interesting discussion Thursday about how Tennessee did on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),also known as the “Nation’s Report Card.” As Chalkbeat…
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