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New Orleans’s education success story: A model worth following

The school reform efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 have been the largest and most complete experiment in charter school success. With a history of failing schools, low academic performance, misuse of finances, and leadership problems that predated the natural disaster, the New Orleans Parish school district had nowhere to go but up, and an all-charter school system led the way. As we celebrate National Charter Schools Week, we should reflect on New Orleans’s groundbreaking reforms and how they shook the foundation of American education and represent a model worth following. Photo Source: Getty Images...

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Divided legislature takes different approaches to education spending

Minnesota's divided legislature has to find common ground on education spending proposals and decide what level of state school funding school districts across Minnesota will receive before a May 20 deadline, according to the Star Tribune. The Star Tribune interviewed me for this article, but my comments did not make it into print. Here is commentary I shared during my interview....

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Comparatively Speaking, How Much K-12 Spending Goes to Teacher Salaries?

My friend Mike Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute in Washington, posed three intriguing questions the other day. “Even when calculated in constant dollars, and even after the Great Recession, the U.S. is spending dramatically more money per pupil than in decades past, yet teacher salaries have barely kept pace with inflation: Where is the money going, if not into salaries?” “How much could we pay teachers if we prioritized higher salaries instead?” And which states “have chosen to put the additional dollars into higher salaries instead of other options, such as smaller classes, employee healthcare and retiree benefits, or...

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Poll: 1 in 3 teachers want to negotiate salary & benefits for themselves

More than one-third of teachers would prefer to negotiate salary and benefits for themselves, according to a national survey by the Teacher Freedom project. The survey asked 2,000 teachers in the 22 states most impacted by Janus v. AFSCME, including Minnesota, for their thoughts on contract negotiations and benefits, unions, and union dues....

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Where is Edina Schools’ 2017-18 Annual Report, and why can’t we see it?

On April 26, I described the striking decline in accountability and transparency in the Edina Public Schools (EPS) over the last 15 years. I highlighted differences between EPS Annual Reports for 2003-04 and 2016-17. Strangely, EPS’s Annual Report for 2017-18 is not available on the EPS website, though all other reports since 2003-04 are, at the time of this writing....

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Accountability in the Edina Public Schools Then and Now—A World of Difference

Here’s a striking visual that captures the decline in accountability and transparency in the Edina Public Schools (EPS) in recent years. It’s an opportunity to compare—back-to-back—the EPS Annual Reports for 2003-04 and 2016-17. (The report for 2017-18 is not on the EPS website, for some reason.)...

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