Tom Birmingham

Guest Contributor, Pioneer Institute

Stories by Tom Birmingham

Will district schools embrace charter-like reforms?

Will district schools embrace charter-like reforms?

Burden now falls on local school leaders to deliver results

LONG BEFORE MORE than $40 million was spent last year making the cases for and against charter public school expansion, I was skeptical about using a statewide ballot initiative to decide the question. I believe ballot initiatives are best reserved for instances where the Legislature is flouting public opinion, and that wasn’t so with Massachusetts(...)

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Voc-tech schools are a Mass. success story

Voc-tech schools are a Mass. success story

4,400 students are on waitlists; let's expand schools that work

MASSACHUSETTS VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL high schools are like the person who toils for years, only to be termed an “overnight sensation” when he or she finally achieves recognition. For over a decade the schools have quietly compiled an impressive record, and the time has come to expand them. Voc-tech schools were once among the staunchest opponents of MCAS(...)

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A school-choice double standard

A school-choice double standard

METCO supporters should also embrace charters

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is right to have long supported the Metropolitan Council for Economic Opportunity (METCO), through which more than 3,300 Boston and Springfield students attend school in surrounding suburbs each year.  METCO has two basic goals: to bring diversity to suburban communities and to provide urban families(...)

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About-face

About-face

Diane Ravitch's change of heart on testing and charter schools

The Death and Life of The Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education By Diane RavitchNew York, Basic Books, 283 pages diane ravitch is the preeminent historian of American public education. For decades she has played Cassandra, challenging the received wisdom and questioning trendy notions of what does and doesn’t help(...)

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