School choice can take many shapes and sizes. We will all soon find out exactly what Governor Reynolds and the legislature have in mind for Iowa. When Iowa House Republicans released committee assignments for the 2023 legislative session, one new committee stood out above the rest: the Education Reform Committee. Speaker Pat Grassley will chair the committee that he explained will […]
If anything good has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic it is the growing awareness by parents across the nation about what is being taught in schools. This is especially true concerning civic education. For decades a crisis has existed over the decline of civic education. Numerous surveys and studies have shown that at all grade levels, including higher education, students do not have an adequate understanding of American history, American government, or Western civilization. Reform is needed to strengthen civic education in Iowa schools and the National Association of Scholars has issued social studies standards—a guide for curriculum in each classroom—that will help improve civic education in Iowa. American Birthright: The Civic Alliances Model K-12 Social Studies Standards is guide to help improve standards in civic education.
Rural citizens and legislators are concerned that school choice would take critical funding away from their local schools. ITR Foundation Deputy Director Walt Rogers sat down with Need to Know host Jeff Angelo to debunk this myth and explain how school choice would improve education quality through the competition. The discussion starts at the 9:25 minute mark.
The education establishment has done an amazing job of creating the perfect “Emperor’s New Clothes” scenario when arguing against school choice. We’ll remind you of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale that raises questions about believing our own two eyes or buying into a pretense that is being sold to us. In the story, the emperor is fond of clothes […]
Let us take a step back from all the numbers, charts, and research on the issue of school choice. If we’re honest, most of us only believe the data that fits with our narrative anyway. Instead, we can discuss a couple of arguments that opponents of school choice trot out and apply some basic common sense to both of them.
School choice, specifically in the form of Educational Savings Accounts, is taking center stage inside the Iowa Capitol as negotiations on key policy items continue with the end of this year’s legislative session in sight. ITR Foundation has detailed the need for school choice in our state from various perspectives.
Parents across Iowa are demanding greater accountability from public schools. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with current social and political movements, has raised significant concerns from parents about what is happening in K-12 classrooms across the state. Parents want greater visibility into what their children are learning and what types of books and other resources are utilized in school. Whether it is radical 1619 Project curriculum or controversial books that use vulgar words and portray explicit and pornographic content, curriculum concerns are driving this demand for more transparency and accountability. Requiring public schools to be fully transparent about classroom curriculum, available books and other resources within schools is a commonsense and much-needed reform.
The splintering of our culture — in art, religion, entertainment and so many other ways — demands a pluralism that allows various factions to co-exist. With the culture wars very much active in education, we shouldn’t expect it to work out any other way. An approach that allows families to choose the best option for them is our best bet.
This week is National School Choice week, which brings awareness to the importance of empowering parents to choose the best educational path for their children. To most parents, it is obvious that they should be in control of their child’s education. The problem is, in the collective mind of the education establishment, that is not so obvious. Remote learning caused […]
Join ITR Foundation Deputy Director Walt Rogers, School Choice Expert Corey DeAngelis, and House Education Committee Vice-Chair Representative Skyler Wheeler for an online School Choice 101 event. Watch this live Facebook event Monday, January 10 at 7:30 pm on The Iowa Standard page.
ITR Foundation Deputy Director Walt Rogers had a great interview discussing education with Jeff Stein on 1540 KXEL this week. Here is some of what Walt had to say: Connecting school choice to taxes: “If we’re going to advocate for the taxpayer, we should be looking probably at the #1 eater of tax dollars, which is public education. We should […]
“School choice shouldn’t be limited to those who have the financial means or are lucky to live in a district that’s confident enough to allow open enrollment. So, let us make choice an option for everyone.” – Governor Kim Reynolds Recently, Governor Reynolds became the first Governor in the nation to sign the Education Freedom Pledge. The American Federation […]
Parents are fed up with mask and vaccine mandates, gender and race issues in our local schools. Citizens across Iowa are stepping up and running for their local school boards to take them back. Recently, TEF Iowa Deputy Director Walt Rogers spoke with Jeff Angelo on how these frustrations have sparked a movement to get involved in local schools.
Mask mandates are the latest controversy in a series of events that has parents up in arms over what is best for their children. Recently, TEF Iowa Deputy Director Walt Rogers spoke with Jeff Angelo on what is going on in our public schools and how school choice is the solution for families to choose the education and environment best […]
This past Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt issued a temporary restraining order stopping the enforcement of the mask mandate ban that the Iowa Legislature passed, and Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law. This ruling sent Iowa parents into a quandary, wondering what to do next, finding their children are again being used in a cruel game of tug of […]
Photo: @IAGovernor In a recent editorial The Des Moines Register criticized Governor Kim Reynolds’ vision for education in Iowa. During the legislative session, Governor Reynolds made students a priority and she led the nation in requiring Iowa schools to offer the option of 100 percent in-person learning. By advancing more parental choice in education, Governor Reynolds is placing families first. […]
As this year’s legislative session wound to a close, thanks to the tireless efforts of Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature, they passed several essential measures that not only expand school choice in Iowa but also place the interests of students first.
Education savings accounts (ESA) can help more Iowa families tailor their children’s education to what best fits their needs—no matter their geographic location or socioeconomic background. Rural Iowans Face Unique Education Challenges Iowa’s population is 43% rural and unfortunately, many of Iowa’s lowest rated school districts are located in rural counties. These rural areas often offer fewer educational choices […]
The future of Iowa and our country lies in our children’s hands. We must provide them with the best tools possible to succeed. The most important thing is education. Iowa has a proud heritage of public education and many schools and teachers do a great job educating our children. However, they do not meet the needs of all. This is why school choice is so important. Parents should […]
“Every family deserves the ability to afford an education they believe fits their children best.” “I started in the classroom as a ‘talented and gifted’ teacher. Later on, I crossed over into administration. I’ve worked here in Waterloo, then in Des Moines and now back here again – so I’ve had my share of experiences with the school system in Iowa.” […]
In a recent article, Robert Pondiscio, a Senior Fellow and Vice President for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, made a compelling argument on the need for competition in education. Pondiscio is writing from experience as a former public school educator and as a parent. As Pondiscio explains: My progressive credentials were in reasonably good order until […]
“Education is definitely not a one-size-fits-all deal… That’s why having the choice where you go is so important.” “I was in a lot of foster homes as a child. Then, I was adopted by the Davidsons when I was eight years old. My mom and dad knew about Joshua Christian Academy before I was adopted, but they didn’t send […]
An Iowa Grandfather recently shared a conversation he had with his granddaughter about what she was learning in American History. His granddaughter, who is a fourth-grade public school student, was learning about the American Revolution. After inquiring what she learned, she replied, “Grandpa, did you know that the revolutionary war was fought for the freedom of rich white males?” This […]
Public funds are never used for private entities. Fiction Many government programs are based on funding individuals directly rather than funding institutions. Public funds are often used for private purposes such as food stamps, Pell Grants, the G.I. Bill, and Medicaid. Individuals and families who are recipients of these public funds can choose from a variety of both public […]
“We like that we have the freedom to choose where we send our boys to school. We’re also very thankful that we are financially able to do that because there are so many other families out there that don’t have the same opportunities as we do.” “Kelly and I are both teachers here in Waterloo and the parents of […]