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Pandemic shutdowns leave wreckage in their wake as students’ reading and math scores plummet

September 1, 2022

First-ever drop in math, biggest drop in reading in 30 years Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and pandemic policies continues to manifest across the nation. The latest: Reading and math scores of 9-year-old students nationwide dropped between 2020 and 2022, according to results released today from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A Wall Street Journal story on the scores cites experts who say it could take decades for the worst performers to rebound. “These are some of the largest declines we have observed in a single assessment cycle in 50 years of the NAEP program,” said Acting NCES…

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Word from the choice chair: Support for choice stronger than ever

August 22, 2022

Did you know that there’s an academic chair focused on school choice? ChoiceWords decided to look into this. We caught up with the man who occupies the chair, Patrick Wolf. Wolf, Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, has kept one of the most trained eyes on school choice as it has experienced major growth across the country. Wolf got into school choice in part because his graduate school mentor was Harvard’s Paul Peterson, another well-known figure in the field. “Once I got…

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Schools know the value of choice

August 19, 2022

Here at School Choice Wisconsin, we regularly get comments from schools and parents expressing the tremendous value of school choice to their families and communities. We’ll share these comments with you from time to time on the ChoiceWords blog. “School choice provides kids opportunities they would never have otherwise. A great school can change the life and direction of not just a student, but an entire family.” St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, Milwaukee “This program gives our school the ability to enroll students from 18 different cities. Without the school choice program, these kids might not have the opportunity to build…

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What We’re Reading: Choice has grown exponentially

August 3, 2022

As the 2022­–23 school year draws nearer, we’re seeing a flood of articles across the U.S. media supporting school choice. Some articles focus on the new or enhanced programs in Arizona, Tennessee and elsewhere as the choice universe has grown exponentially. In 2021, 19 states enacted 32 new or expanded choice policies. Other articles point out that the pandemic and some public schools’ reactions to it have pulled many parents toward choice. The pandemic also exposed curriculum and content that some parents found objectionable or a waste of time. A scan of the media also shows that polling is looking…

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School Choice Wisconsin sees increase in schools wanting to join choice program

August 2, 2022

Good news for educational freedom: School Choice Wisconsin is seeing an increase in entrepreneurial activity on the statewide school landscape. In the last two months, eight schools have reached out to SCW for onboarding assistance as they seek to participate in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. The statewide Wisconsin Parental Choice Program provides students whose families meet income qualifications the ability to attend a participating private or religious school of their choice, tuition free. Of the eight schools who reached out to School Choice Wisconsin, five are new start-ups. The five are in various stages of planning and launching. The…

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School choice a topic at last night’s GOP debate

July 25, 2022

Last night Marquette University hosted a GOP primary debate featuring three Republican candidates. Two of the candidates, Rebecca Kleefisch and Tim Michels, voiced support for universal school choice during the debate. Candidate Tim Ramthun has expressed support for universal choice on his website but made no comment on the subject last night. School choice continues to be a major topic of discussion among all parties here in Wisconsin. A statewide primary is set for Aug. 9. — School Choice Wisconsin

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What We’re Reading: Confidence in public schools down

July 19, 2022

Periodically School Choice Wisconsin provides you with news on happenings and trends in school choice and education in general. Among the most interesting news of late is a Gallup poll saying Americans’ confidence in U.S. public schools remains low, with 28% saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the institution. That figure is down from 41% in 2020. “Americans’ confidence in public schools increased early in the coronavirus pandemic as people rallied around professions that were severely disrupted by the economic shutdown, but that subsided a year ago and confidence has returned to its…

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PreACT Secure test replacing Aspire in Wisconsin schools

July 15, 2022

Parents and teachers may want to note that choice and public schools across Wisconsin will see a change in test-taking next school year, as the state is moving from the ACT Aspire test to the PreACT Secure. Both tests, given in grades 9 and 10, are meant to predict how students will perform on the college-readiness ACT test, which students take in grade 11. The vendor that supplies the test, Iowa-based ACT, has sunsetted the ACT Aspire, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The 2021­–22 school year was the last for Aspire in Wisconsin schools. Among differences between…

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Wall Street Journal: School choice is really gaining political momentum

July 6, 2022

The Wall Street Journal is among those noticing that school choice is garnering support around the country. Take a look at their recent editorial video on choice.    

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Arizona goes big on school choice

June 30, 2022

Big choice news out of Arizona this week. The state legislature has passed and Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to sign a bill that will allow all the state’s students to take education funding to a school of their families’ choice. The bill will give all K-12 students in the state access to tax-funded ESAs—Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Parents can use the accounts for tuition and other educational costs. Read more here. Congratulations to the more than 1.1 million students in Arizona and their families who can now take advantage of school choice. Educational Freedom Your Child, Your Choice — School…

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