By Jennifer Wagner

After almost five years working in the school choice movement, the subhed on this story about the potential cost of Indiana’s proposed voucher expansion and special needs ESA wasn’t really a surprise:

An Indiana House bill could boost by 40% the number of students, many from middle-class families, receiving state subsidies for private schooling

Goodness gracious, not the middle class!

Heaven forbid we help out those families who’ve worked hard to get a leg up, maybe even gotten themselves out of a lower income bracket, and want to utilize their tax dollars to send their kids to…

By Jennifer Wagner

Four decades ago, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman sat down with talk show host Phil Donahue to discuss his bestselling book, Free to Choose. You can watch the interviews here and here.

If you don’t have time for the clips, here’s a quick summary: Friedman and Donahue clashed. A lot. Suffice it to say that Friedman, a Libertarian, had a very different take on capitalism and free markets than the left-leaning Donahue, who seemed to support more government oversight and regulation as he sparred with Friedman about what he’d written.

In perhaps their most famous exchange, Donahue pressed…

By Gwen Samuel

Dear Dr. Cardona,

Congratulations on your nomination to become the next U.S. Secretary of Education.

It doesn’t seem so long ago that we were sitting in your office here in Meriden discussing a bullying issue regarding my child. You were so attentive, and while I might not have been happy with all the decisions made, I always appreciated that you took the time to actually listen and recommend some appropriate supports — in a timely manner.

Your willingness to listen is a huge asset, and it’s why I wasn’t always *that* thorn-in-your-side mom advocating for my child.

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By Jennifer Wagner

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

That tired old cliché is all I can think of as I watch parents right now filing lawsuits to keep schools open or signing petitions asking districts to reverse course on remote learning.

They’ve all got different reasons, but at their core they’re justifiably mad that they’re not getting what they want from a system that’s supposed to be serving their kids.

Injunctions and petitions are one way to effect change, but will that change be foundational, or will it…

By Jennifer Wagner

The pandemic has changed schooling as we know it — for now.

You can’t throw a stick without hitting an article about how families have been adapting since March. Some are choosing pandemic pods. Others have turned to homeschooling. Many are sending their kids back to the classroom either part-time or full-time. Traditional schools are sounding the alarm as their enrollment declines. Parents, especially those at lower income levels, are worried about learning loss.

Our research shows public opinion is all over the place, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to read the tea leaves as…

By Mike McShane

As is rarely said at a Sinn Fein meeting, I’d like to say something nice about Protestants.

In a new report from the American Enterprise Institute, Albert Cheng, Patrick Wolf, Wendy Wang, and Brad Wilcox look at the family life outcomes of students who attended different types of schools.

The report uses nationally representative data from the Understanding America Study (UAS) and the National Longitudinal Survey 1997 (NLSY97) to explore the links between adults’ prior schooling and their odds of marrying, divorcing, and having a child outside of marriage.

The researchers compared students who attended public schools…

By Jennifer Wagner

Mother Jones recently published a story questioning whether GreatSchools, a national nonprofit that rates public PK-12 schools using test scores and other factors, is inadvertently contributing to neighborhood segregation because families are using the website to find homes near highly rated schools that might not be particularly diverse.

GreatSchools partners with a number of real estate websites that publish the ratings alongside other neighborhood factors, including walkability, access to mass transit and solar energy score.

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It’s past time to break the connection between housing and schooling.

Let’s be real: For families with kids, nearby school quality historically has driven real estate choices for those who can afford to…

By Jennifer Wagner

EdChoice is the oldest group in the nation solely dedicated to advancing school choice. Dr. Friedman and his wife, Rose, founded the organization in 1996. We’ll be a quarter-century old next year.

That means we’ve endured six — soon to be seven — presidential elections and dozens at the state and local level. Power has shifted from one party to another and back again, all the while we’ve been chipping away at the notion that you have to go to school based on where your child is located, not what your child needs.

The current political landscape…

By Jennifer Wagner

To my sweet, kind, inquisitive son:

I love you so much.

I love how you tell us all about the latest Fortnite updates and perform all the dances — and how your passion for the game hooked us all into playing with you.

I love how you run on the beach without a care in the world.

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You are awesome, and your brain is amazing. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

I love when you trust us with your fears and ask us for help or to try new things.

You do not suffer fools, and your sense of fairness rivals your sense of humor.

Right now, though, what I love…

By Jennifer Wagner

The other day, I dropped an opinion piece — with no personal commentary — on my Facebook timeline from someone who was concerned about students going back to school in person.

I stuck my phone in my pocket and didn’t think much about the post until someone texted a few hours later to let me know the comments section had devolved into a virtual barroom brawl.

If you’re a parent right now, your feeds are probably similarly filled with articles about sending your kids back in person or removing your kids from public schools or pursuing homeschooling…

EdChoice

National nonprofit dedicated to advancing universal K-12 educational choice as the best pathway to successful lives and a stronger society.

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