Choice Remarks

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Oklahoma is lagging behind the rest of the nation in offering a variety of affordable K-12 educational options to our children and their parents. In hopes of improving the situation, there's now an organization called Oklahomans for School Choice, with an official blog called Choice Remarks, headed up by Brandon Dutcher, vice president for policy for the Oklahoma Center of Public Affairs.

The blog's sidebar offers a synopsis of the issue:

School choice refers to any education policy which allows parents to choose the safest and best schools for their children, whether those schools are public or private. As state school Superintendent Sandy Garrett has correctly noted, "We have a lot of choice already in Oklahoma." Oklahoma is fortunate to have interdistrict choice, intradistrict choice, charter schools, magnet and specialty schools, privately funded K-12 vouchers, a thriving homeschool sector, and more. Unfortunately, we don't yet have what many other states have--vouchers or tax credits which allow thousands of students to choose private schools.

I've been invited to contribute to the blog, so as I come across news items relating to charter schools, tuition vouchers, scholarship fund tax credits, and other means of expanding parental choice in K-12 education, I'll be posting them at Choice Remarks.

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Mark said:

Barack Obama has had some interesting things to say on school choice recently. In a live television interview last night, jointly hosted by Politico and the DC-area ABC affiliate, Obama talked about charter schools, Tom Coburn, government transparency, and the possibility of bridging the partisan divide in important areas. Here’s an excerpt.

POLITICO: . . . . The likely Republican nominee, Sen. McCain, has regularly stood up against his own party and has some real scars that he’s wearing because of it, when he thought it was in the national interest to do so. Name some issues where you’ve been willing to stand up against your party, and also take those scars?

OBAMA: Well, look, we’ve talked about education. . . . I’ve consistently said, we need to support charter schools. I think it is important to experiment, by looking at how we can reward excellence in the classroom. 

POLITICO: Have teacher’s unions been an impediment to that kind of reform? 

OBAMA: What I will say is that they haven’t been thrilled with me talking about these kinds of issues. And my sister is a teacher, so I am a strong supporter of teachers, but I’m not going to be bound by just a certain way of talking about these things, in order for us to move forward on behalf of our kids. And I think a lot of teachers want to talk about how to continually improve performance. The broader point is that we’ve got to get beyond a lot of the traditional categories. In terms of reaching out across the aisles, one of the things you’ve seen, since I’ve been in the Senate, is that my work with people like Tom Coburn on opening up transparency in government, making sure that every dollar the federal government spends that’s out there – that that’s all posted on a searchable database on the Internet. That’s not a conservative issue or liberal issue. 

POLITICO: Is there any one issue where the Democratic Party is out of step with the mainstream of America? Is there a position that you want your party to change? 

OBAMA: I think that the Democratic Party is a big tent, which means that there are positions I may not agree with. I mentioned one, charter schools, and experimenting with our school system, to make it work. I think that’s something we really have to pay attention to.

David S. Author Profile Page said:

But Oklahoma is #1 in the pre-K junk, go figure

s said:

If the state lawmakers would spend $30,000.00 each year on each student, put them in a boarding private school environment with the very best teachers and extremely small class sizes like our State lawmakers now approve and spend our tax dollars on one special public school, then we would have the state of choice for education.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 11, 2008 10:59 PM.

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