Nancy Flanagan -- Flunked. Held back. Retained. It's failure, no matter what you call it. Imposed by adults, some of whom honestly believe they're instituting a kind of academic tough love--or at least, raising collective achievement data. Suffered by children who struggle with learning, for any one of a galaxy of reasons.
Progress Iowa has released a new report detailing the damaging influence the corporate front group ALEC has on public education policy. The report, ALEC v Kids, demonstrates the growing influence ALEC holds in Iowa and across the country, including its secretive access to elected officials and the drafting of ‘model’ education policy designed to benefit ALEC’s corporate funders which compliant lawmakers pass off as their own then push into law.
Andrew Ujifusa -- Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, has selected Arizona Sen. Rich Crandall to be its next public schools chief, right on the heels of an investigative report into the state's previous chief, Cindy Hill, that uncovered potential mismanagement and illegal activity. Crandall has been serving as the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
Andrew Ujifusa -- ALEC hasn't been quite as much in the news as it was just over a year ago, but it is still considered a force in state policymaking circles. In education policy, ALEC has advocated for things like private-school vouchers, parent-trigger laws, and virtual education.
A national organization criticized recently for churning out prewritten bills to state legislatures across the country has been a platform for some of the more controversial laws passed in Oklahoma in recent years.
Diane Ravitch -- ALEC is the guiding force behind state-level efforts to privatize public education and to turn teachers into at-will employees who may be fired for any reason. The ALEC agenda is today the “reform” agenda for education.
In nearly 40 years of legislative advocacy, the American Legislative Exchange Council—a free-market, limited-government group now drawing intense scrutiny for its support of a controversial self-defense law—has had a significant influence in K-12 education through its model legislation and work with state lawmakers to promote such policies as private school vouchers and “parent trigger” laws.
ALEC’s 17th edition of the Report Card on American Education contains a comprehensive overview of educational achievement levels (performance and gains for low-income students) for the 50 states and the District of Columbia (see full report for complete methodology).