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TUSD Supt: 'Punitive' GOP proposal would let charters take over Az district schools

New legislation given preliminary approval by the Arizona House would hand over the operations of the 180 Arizona schools that received a D or F rating in 2019 to a high-performing school, be replaced by a “Fresh Start” charter school or shut them down if they don’t improve. ... Read more»

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Despite mediocre records, for-profit online charter schools are selling parents on staying virtual

As parents fearful of coronavirus’s spread and frustrated with their schools’ forays into remote learning seek other options, they are increasingly turning to virtual for-profit charter schools - yet the advertising belies these schools’ records serving students. ... Read more»

Ducey wants savings from K-12 enrollment decline to help students who have fallen behind in pandemic

Gov. Doug Ducey plans to use hundreds of millions of dollars that schools will lose from declining enrollment for programs to help students who have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many schools relying on virtual learning instead of in-person education.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Wells: Legislature more concerned about haircuts than trimming charter-school spending abuses

So far this year the state Legislature has devoted more attention to who can blow-dry hair in Arizona than enhancing oversight and accountability for the more than $1 billion that flows annually from the general fund to our state's charter schools.... Read more»

Az charters excited by DeVos nomination, public schools wary

Public school advocates in Arizona are withholding judgment – for now – on school-choice champion Betsy DeVos, who faced a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday on her nomination to become the next secretary of Education.... Read more»

Arizona charter schools less ethnically diverse

Two decades after Arizona helped pioneer the charter school movement, enrollment data show the schools don’t match the school age demographics of the state and, in many cases, their neighborhoods. White - and especially Asian - students attend charter schools at a higher rate than Hispanics, who now make up the the greatest portion of Arizona’s school age population.... Read more»

Online-only charter schools show dismal performance. What can be done?

Students who attend online charter schools – and receive no instruction from an in-person teacher – tend to do much worse than their peers in bricks-and-mortar schools. Some students in online-only schools showed academic results in math that were the equivalent of what would be expected if a student skipped 180 days of school – virtually a full year’s worth of classes.... Read more»

What the Devil won't tell you

Ranking 49th: The real story of how Az fell to bottom in K-12 spending

Status quo talking points are coalescing around a report from a taxpayer group that gets a lot right but leaves plenty out. Arizona kids became 49ers long before charter schools were a major financial factor and well before Gov. Doug Ducey discovered the figure and decided its time to dig into the State Land Trust to do something about it.... Read more»

Douglas, Ducey and charter schools: Dissecting the claims

During the showdown over her firing of two State Board of Education staff members, Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas accused Gov. Doug Ducey of establishing a “shadow faction” including charter school operators and moving funds from traditional public schools to charter schools. ... Read more»1

Guest opinion

The secret behind those ‘highly performing’ charter schools

If we really want to give EVERY child a chance to succeed, then we need to get serious about how we address the children most in need of our help. And yes, Arizona, that means money. Money that’s earmarked to help failing schools, not punish them for lack-luster test scores. Money that’s targeted for “extras” that are, in fact, necessities for many.... Read more»2

When charter schools are nonprofit in name only

Some charters pass along nearly all their money to for-profit companies hired to manage the schools. It’s an arrangement that’s raising eyebrows. ... Read more»

Charter school power broker turns public education into private profits

Baker Mitchell is a politically connected North Carolina businessman who celebrates the power of the free market. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through Mitchell’s chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls. ... Read more»

What do Americans want for their schools? Choice, yes. Charters, not so much

What’s a charter school? Or the Common Core? A new poll suggests many Americans are unfamiliar with the hottest topics in the education world, and that they’d rather trust their local schools and teachers—not the federal government, their elected officials, or unions—to figure out what’s best for kids.... Read more»

This year’s best reporting on education

From jaw-dropping pay and perks at universities to a $1-billion plan to purchase iPads, here are some of 2013’s best accountability stories in education.... Read more»

John C. Scott

J.C. Scott: Time running out for year-end charitable giving

Interviews with Barbara Brown of the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, Andrew Morrill of the Arizona Education Association, Easter Seals Blake Foundation CEO Ema Kammeyer, developer Richard Studwell, Sunnyside Governing Board member Buck Crouch, Arizona Capitol Times Editor Jim Small. ... Read more»

John C. Scott

J.C. Scott: Sun Van fare increase debated

Ward 2 Tucson City Councilwoman Shirley Scott, Republican state Rep. Ethan Orr (LD9), Arizona Education Association President Andrew Morrill, Tucson Weekly's Dan Gibson... Read more»

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