Top 10 Friedman Foundation Blog Posts of 2014
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  • Dec 31 2014

Top 10 Friedman Foundation Blog Posts of 2014

We looked into our blog analytics to find out which blog posts Friedman Foundation readers viewed and engaged with most this past year. We hope you enjoy reading, or re-reading, this top content. Don’t see your favorite post in these lists? Help increase its visibility by sharing it and spreading the word on social media!

Most Viewed

1.  Friday Freakout: Some Public Schools Choose Not to Serve Every Child, Block Other Options

Rankin County, Mississippi parents of students with autism were upset after it was reported their public schools were ending specialized classrooms for their children and sending them to other schools. We explore why some commenters sided with the district rather than parents.

2.  Breaking Down “Sector Switchers: Why Catholic Schools Convert to Charters and What Happens Next”

In a report, Andrew Kelly and Michael McShane examined a set of schools that tried to get the best of both educational worlds by “converting” from Catholic schools to charter schools when their enrollment dipped below sustainable levels. This post includes an illustrated slide show to make for a quick and easy report summary.

3.  Friday Freakout: What Teachers’ Unions Aren’t Telling Their Supporters

In the comments section of an article on teachers’ unions, a parent shared his personal story struggling with his local public school when he wanted to send his kids to private schools. One teacher responded to him with a question that she would have known the answer to if she hadn’t been misinformed about school choice.

4.  Friday Freakout: Does School Choice Destroy a Public Good?

In this post, we address the common argument, favored by school choice opponents such as Diane Ravitch, that says school choice programs “steal the common from the goose.” Derrell Bradford also wrote a compelling sister blog post worth reading, “Friday Freakout: Is Education a Consumer Good?

5.  Six Reasons Rural Families Should (And Can) Have School Choice

In the authors’ own words, “A common argument against school choice in rural America is that there just aren’t enough schools from which to choose. But the more you understand about choice policy and the rural-schools landscape, the more you realize this argument actually distorts the facts, obscures rural students’ needs, and undersells the tools available to families, educators, and communities.”

6.  Why the ACLU is Afraid of School Choice Vouchers

The ACLU published a blog post that condemned the intentions of National School Choice Week and the policy impact of vouchers. As the author of this response stated, “…it just shows the fundamental misunderstanding of ‘choice’ in American education. Which is to say, there’s a great deal of it unless you are poor.”

7.  Want to Increase Public School Funding? Try School Choice.

Policymakers in Mississippi claim the state doesn’t need school choice; it just needs to fully fund its school formula to solve parents’ problems with public education. Our fiscal expert shows how school choice programs actually can fund families’ non-public options and better fund the public school formula.

8.  If you think expanding school choice is expensive…

President Obama omitted funding for the D.C. voucher program from his 2015 education budget. Our fiscal expert shows exactly why the president’s reasoning had less to do with fiscal responsibility and more to do with philosophy by answering the question: What happens to the cost of education when students who were enrolled in private schools can no longer afford it and flood back into the public school system?

9.  Governor Signs Tax-Credit Scholarships, Makes Kansas 24th School Choice State

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a school choice bill that created tax-credit scholarships for low-income students in academically low-performing schools who would like to choose alternative learning options. This post outlines how the program is funded, its student eligibility, regulations, and history.

10.  Mississippi Legislature Advances School Choice ESAs

The Mississippi legislature got very close to creating an education savings account program for students with disabilities this year. This post outlined the proposed program’s funding, eligibility, and regulations and followed the progress of the bill through the House and Senate Education Committees. The bill did not make it to the governor’s desk.

Most Engaged

1.  America’s Favorite Education Reforms: Do They Treat a Symptom or the Cause?

We highlighted how Americans rank education reforms according to a report that synthesized data from multiple national surveys. This post also features a handy graphic that gets our readers to the point fast.

2.  Free to Choose What THEY Want

Our guest blogger discusses “controlled choice” and how even some people support school choice only as long as they can make sure parents can’t choose schools they wouldn’t choose for themselves. This post also addresses a provocative Politico article about creationism and vouchers.

3.  Friday Freakout: Parent vs Parent

A North Carolina judge ruled the state’s voucher program unconstitutional this year. As that decision is being appealed, we debunked one “ivory tower” parent’s list of school choice myths then highlighted the concerns of a school choice parent on the front lines.

4.  Governor Signs Tax-Credit Scholarships, Makes Kansas 24th School Choice State 

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a school choice bill that created tax-credit scholarships for low-income students in academically low-performing schools who would like to choose alternative learning options. This post outlines how the program is funded, its student eligibility, regulations, and history.

5.  Friday Freakout: What Teachers Say to School Choice Advocates vol. 1

We decided to compile many of our conversations with teachers on social media into the first installment of this series. This post examines claims from six new and veteran educators.

6.  The New Hampshire Education Tax Credit Lawsuit Simplified

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United Against Separation of Church and State (AU) against the state’s trailblazing choice program. This post breaks down the case background, the issues at hand, and possible outcomes.

7.  Surveying the Common Core Battleground 

Common Core is one of the most debated education reforms among reformers and the public. There are two camps that believe very strongly for or against. Our research director expounded on the opinions of those two camps using data from our 2014 survey of Americans.

8.  Mississippi Legislature Advances School Choice ESAs

The Mississippi legislature got very close to creating an education savings account program for students with disabilities this year. This post outlined the proposed program’s funding, eligibility, and regulations and followed the progress of the bill through the House and Senate Education Committees. The bill did not make it to the governor’s desk.

9.  Public Schools Should Rise Above [Which] Mark?

Our president and CEO’s participated in a live debate with Diane Ravitch about an anti-school choice film produced by Indiana’s West Lafayette Community School Corporation. Our fiscal expert provides helpful numbers and charts that show, for the first time in decades, public school officials in Indiana have had to deal with real funding constraints. For instance, through the last half of the 20th century, spending on public schools far outpaced the growth of the economy and most other state and local government spending. This is a very interesting read if you’re interested in financial matters.

10.  The “Fruits” and the Future of Centralization in Public Schools

In this post, an education researcher and Ph.D. looked at public school hiring trends, student population growth, and student proficiency over the past several decades and cautiously projected what our education system might look like in 2036 if we continue at current rates.

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